Irbe stops Rangers

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Arturs Irbe made 30 saves to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers Friday night. Irbe has allowed only two goals in three games at Madison Square Garden this season.

"We knew what we wanted to do," Irbe said. "We wanted to neutralize their power play and we stuck to our system. We gave up some long shots from the blue line but they kept the views clear for me."

Curtis Leschyshyn, Sami Kapanen and Bates Battaglia scored for the Hurricanes who won the season series 3-2, winning two out of three games at the Garden.

"I thought we played pretty well," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "Our goaltender played well and we got a timely goal. I always like to see our defense score. We've been getting hammered over that lately."

The Rangers had 12 shots in the second period but could not beat Irbe, who stopped Wayne Gretzky's bank shot and a tip-in attempt by Kevin Stevens. Gretzky also shot wide on a breakaway.

"The whole idea is to make it look easy," Irbe said. "That was a pretty tough save on Gretzky in the second period. A little more luck and it could have been a goal."

New York fell a season-high five games under .500 at 20-25-7. The Rangers dropped to 11-12-2 at home.

"It's frustrating to not be able to win at home," Richter said. "We played a tough first period but they got a good bounce on the goal. We've been doing enough of what it takes to win lately, but we've been finding different ways to lose."

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