Hurricane Jeff Skinner (53) celebrates his goal with teammates Chad LaRose and Joe Corvo during the third period. CHRIS SEWARD - firstname.lastname@example.org
RALEIGH — Carolina rookie Jeff Skinner keeps keeping the points coming.
And Carolina foward Jussi Jokinen keeps keeping the goals coming.
Skinner's work on a big even-strength assist plus a late goal and Jokinen's sixth goal in six games — a power play goal — helped the Canes to a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers at the RBC Center Thursday.
In the first period, Skinner bursted and weaved past defenders with the flair he's shown many times this season. Forward Chad LaRose, to the side of the net, batted in the shot Skinner was able to get off.
The puck got by Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, coming off a shutout, at the 5:39 mark of the first, spinning on the line, with Canes forward Tuomo Ruutu sinking the puck in for good measure in case LaRose's shot wasn't ruled a goal.
Skinner, 18, leads the league in points (39) and assists (22) among rookies this season.
Then in the third period, with LaRose racing around the right corner with the puck, Skinner was there to put home LaRose's pass to the front of the net at 15:51.
On a power play later in the period, Canes defenseman Joe Corvo inched in reverse along the blue line before lining up a Jokinen, camped in front of Lundqvist, for the screen. He winded up a slap shot that tipped Jokinen's stick on the way to the back fo the net at 14:43 for the 2-0 first period lead.
In the second period, Carolina forward Sergei Samsonov found center Brandon Sutter at mid ice, allowing Sutter to brake away, beat the only defender, and back-hand a puck past Lundqvist at 5:41 in the period.
The Rangers attempted to breath some life into their game, apparently instigating a pair of quick fights, the first between New York wing Brandon Prust and Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison and the second fight nine seconds later between New York center Kris Newbury and Carolina center Ryan Carter.
All four men were given five-minute fighting majors, but the Rangers still trailed by three goals at the end of the third period, with the Canes creating more scoring chances on quality shifts.
Prust ended the hopes of a shutout for Carolina goalie Cam Ward, snapping a shot past Ward from about 20 feet out over center at the 11:40 mark of the third period.
It's the third of four meetings this season, and thus far, the Hurricanes have salvaged three out of four points against the Rangers, most recently scratching out an overtime point in a 2-1 loss at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 5.
The Rangers (27-18-3) are coming off a 7-0 thumping of Toronto in New York. Right winger Marian Gaborik had his third hat trick of the season with four goals and an assist.
New York is completing its 13th back-to-back set. The Rangers are 10-2 in the second game this season (6-1 on the road).
The Hurricanes (22-18-6) sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the Atlanta Thrashers, who host the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight as well.