It sure seemed like there was steam coming out of David Quinn’s ears, and that wasn’t too far from the truth.
The Rangers coach was furious after his team took a third too-many-men penalty in the past four games, and a fourth in the past seven games, forcing it to be a tight 3-2 win over the Hurricanes on Wednesday night at the Garden.
Just as Saturday night in Montreal, Brendan Lemieux made the gaffe midway through the second period, and he got only one more shift that period, sitting for the final 8:37. The Hurricanes scored on the ensuing power play, and then again 89 seconds later, to turn a 3-0 lead into a 3-2 edge that barely sufficed.
But unlike when Quinn called out Pavel Buchnevich for his boneheaded line change during a penalty kill in Ottawa this past Friday, this time Quinn wanted to shoulder the blame.
“I think we were demoralized by that penalty, and that’s on me. I’m the head coach here and that can’t happen,” Quinn said. “And I can guarantee you that won’t happen again.”
Quinn remembered a stretch last year when this became a problem, but they got over it. He’s hoping he can turn it around again this year.
“It’s on me. I’m the head coach and I’ll take responsibility for it,” Quinn said. “These guys are making bad decisions, I have to make sure they don’t.”
Another milestone for goalie Henrik Lundqvist, as he played in career game No. 1,000, including regular season (872) and postseason (128). He became the sixth player to appear in at least 1,000 games with the Rangers — along with Brian Leetch, Harry Howell, Rod Gilbert, Ron Greschner, and Walt Tkaczuk — and is now only one appearance away from tying Tony Esposito (873 with the Blackhawks) for the second-most regular-season appearances by a goaltender with one franchise in NHL history.
“I’m extremely proud,” Lundqvist said. “That’s a lot of games with this organization. It makes me happy.”
Veteran defenseman Marc Staal started skating by himself on Tuesday following emergency ankle surgery that has sidelined him since Nov. 9. He was expected to miss at least two weeks, and Wednesday was the ninth straight game he was out.
“Took some more hard strides [Wednesday],” Quinn said, “and it was a step in the right direction.”
Micheal Haley was the healthy scratch. The pugilistic winger had been in for the previous two games even after he had cleared waivers.
Credit: Source link