May 21, 2024

Carolina Hurricanes hand New York Rangers 1st playoff loss

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes turned their final stand right into a season-extending victory — and it was the struggling energy play that obtained them there.

Brady Skjei scored on an influence play with 3:11 left to assist the Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Saturday night time, staving off a sweep by profitable Game 4 of the second-round playoff collection.

Skjei’s shot from the purpose got here off a feed from Teuvo Teravainen, with the puck zipping previous Igor Shesterkin to catch the upper-right nook of the objective and bang into the online. That was Carolina’s first objective with the person benefit in 17 tries within the collection, and it lastly pushed Carolina forward for good on an evening when the Hurricanes squandered a two-goal lead.

No matter, although. The Hurricanes survived to struggle one other day within the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“I don’t care,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour stated of whether or not there was further significance to getting the winner with the person benefit. “Not tonight. We’ve just got to get W’s at this time of year.”

The Rangers will get one other closeout probability Monday night time with the 3-1 lead when the collection returns to Madison Square Garden for Game 5.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stefan Noesen and Sebastian Aho every scored for Carolina, whereas Frederik Andersen completed with 22 saves because the Hurricanes attempt to develop into the fifth workforce to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff collection and the primary since 2014.

Everything began with Carolina exhibiting loads of bounce within the first interval, operating out to 2-0 and 3-1 results in construct momentum.

“Obviously, we played a lot of aggression,” stated Aho, who completed a feed from Jake Guentzel from close to the slot for a 3-1 lead with 4:31 left within the first interval. “We kind of did what we needed to do. That was a strong start. We want to do that again [in Game 5].”

The Hurricanes tweaked their power-play unit to place Skjei on the highest group. And roughly 30 seconds after a tripping penalty by Ryan Lindgren, Skjei transformed the winner to ship Teravainen and Aho dashing over to hug him and have a tense house crowd roaring in gleeful aid, even when Skjei skilled “definitely celebration” as a substitute.

“I feel like going into every game, you try to feel confident and feel you can be the guy to do it,” Skjei stated. “Obviously, it doesn’t happen every night or that often. But that’s kind of our mindset going forward here, just win the day.”

Will Cuylle, Barclay Goodrow and Alexis Lafreniere scored for the Rangers, whereas Shesterkin completed with 27 saves.

“It’s tough, we dug ourselves a hole early,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette stated. “I don’t think it was because we weren’t ready to play. … We’ve got to come out a little bit sharper than that.

“We had been competing, we had been working, we had been attempting to do our job offensively. But there’s some issues defensively that I assumed we might’ve been a bit bit higher within the first interval.”

New York had won its first seven playoff games after sweeping the Washington Capitals in Round 1 and taking the first three of this series. The Rangers had a chance to become the first team to reach 8-0 in a postseason since the Edmonton Oilers won their first nine games on the way to claiming the Stanley Cup in 1985.

Lafreniere had the Rangers within reach of that when he capitalized on a mistake by Andersen, who let his left skate extend past the post as Lafreniere skated in on the right side. As he skated toward the boards, Lafreniere bounced the puck off Andersen’s left hip then into the net for a 3-3 tie at 2:04 of the third period that deflated the home crowd.

The series began with the potential for heavy drama considering the Metropolitan Division-winning Rangers also won the Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s top regular-season team, while the Hurricanes — in the playoffs for the sixth straight season — finished three points behind.

Tight finishes have continued in this series, with the Rangers winning 4-3 in both Games 1 and 2 — the latter in double overtime — then taking Game 3 in Raleigh on Artemi Panarin‘s OT score for the 3-2 decision. But the Rangers had been winning the special teams battle in a landslide, outscoring the Hurricanes 5-0 with four power-play goals and a short-handed score, while Carolina’s No. 2-ranked regular-season power play entered Saturday at 0-for-15 in the series.

Carolina came up empty on its first power play Saturday, but Skjei finally gave the Hurricanes a desperately needed breakthrough.

“I assumed the penalty kill was nonetheless good,” Laviolette said. “They took a shot from the purpose, he hammered it, it had eyes. It was a troublesome nook shot, visitors in entrance of the online. There was quite a bit happening there.”