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Talbot, Rangers edge Hurricanes for 6th win in row

NEW YORK (AP) — Ryan McDonagh’s first-period goal held up and Cam Talbot made 18 saves as the New York Rangers extended their winning streak to six with a 1-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night.

The Rangers completed a sweep of the home-and-home weekend series against the Eastern Conference-worst Hurricanes, who lost for the eighth time in nine games.

Talbot is 3-3-1 this season backing up Henrik Lundqvist, with all three of his victories being shutouts.

McDonagh scored his second goal of the season 4:10 into the game. He slapped the puck in the slot past goaltender Anton Khudobin, who has yet to win this season (0-8-2).

The Rangers captain has points in seven of 10 games since returning to the lineup Nov. 28 after missing 11 games with a shoulder injury. Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan assisted on McDonagh’s latest goal.

The Rangers (17-10-4) have won 10 of their last 13 games to keep pace with Washington in a tight Metropolitan Division race. The Rangers host the Capitals on Tuesday before the three-day Christmas break.

New York won a day after beating the Hurricanes 3-2 in a shootout at Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Rangers outshot Carolina 31-18 in their first home contest since Dec. 8, when they started their winning streak with a 4-3 overtime win against Pittsburgh. New York won then won three straight in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.

The Rangers have outscored opponents 20-8 during their six-game winning streak and have allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last five contests.

The Rangers have also won 14 of their last 15 games against the Hurricanes, including eight straight at home since Feb. 22, 2011.

NOTES: Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi played his 600th career game. … The teams meet again Jan. 31 in New York and on March 21 in Raleigh. … The Rangers scratched forward Lee Stempniak and defenseman John Moore while the Hurricanes were without leading goal scorer Jiri Tlusty (upper body) for the second straight game.

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