NEW YORK (AP) – After a two-game losing streak on the road, another New York Rangers bounced back with a big home win.
Mika Zibanejad had goals and assists, Igor Shesterkin stopped 43 shots, and the Rangers beat Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Sunday in the 3rd round of the second round.
“It was a close fight again,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Igor was outstanding for us, and that was the key. … We defended pretty well and the boys did well with the puck. “
Chris Kreider and Tyler Mott also scored as the Rangers reduced their lead to 2-1 in the best match of the seven. Game 4 will be Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
“It’s a wonderful environment … so much energy throughout the game,” Kreider said. “It’s easy to feed off the energy that crowds bring.”
It was New York’s second win against Caroline in the last 10 team meetings, the qualifying round for the Toronto 2020 qualifying round. Hurricanes scored the best five teams in three games and won three of four in the regular season.
The Rangers, who came back from the 3-1 series against Pittsburgh in the first round, improved at home to a 4-1 result. They got the much-needed victory against Hurricane in a 1-1 loss to OT and a 2-0 loss in Game 2.
“I liked the way we fought in those two Carolina games,” Gallant said. “We felt like we were going to win a hockey game. Our goalkeeper was outstanding in the first half of the match and made great strides for us. I thought we played pretty well to win. ”
Nino Niederreiter scored for Carolina and Antti Raanta finished with a 30th stop. The Hurricanes, at home 6-0, fell to 0-4 on the road this postseason.
“We definitely had our chances to win,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We felt good the way we went. We couldn’t access the puck network. “
The Hurricanes were 0-3 in the power play, and dropped to 0-7 in this series. The Rangers were 1-2 and are now 1-7.
“We have to find a way to endure when we have opportunities,” Niederreiter said. “Our penalty killings, for the most part, are horrific. A game of power, we can’t find a way to score. “
Shesterkin made 17 saves in the first, 17 in the second and nine in the third.
“Really, they were trying to shoot from all over the place, feeling the game,” Shesterkin said through an interpreter. “But none of those shots were so dangerous.”
The Rangers had a 2-1 lead in the third quarter with 5 1/2 minutes to go, but Ryan Reaves’ right-footed shot was stopped by Raanta. Motte, who started to raise his arms in front of a goal, could not squeeze the rebound.
Raanta made a great stop three minutes later to deny Kaapo Kakko’s right-footed attempt to hold on to a one-goal match.
Hurricanes pulled out Raanta in favor of an extra skater with 2 1/2 minutes left. Less than 30 seconds later, Kreider missed an opportunity on the empty net, but Mott sealed it behind the defensive field with 1:23 left.
Kreider pushed the Rangers to a 2-0 lead when Zibanejad’s puck was inserted behind the Hurricane net, carried it to Raanta’s right and fired it from the top shelf of the goalkeeper’s left circle at 5:55 p.m. . Kreider was sixth in the postseason.
Niederreiter put Hurricanes ahead in the second at 8:18, took the puck up on the right and put it above Shesterkin in his fourth knockout. It was a harmless shot that passed the keeper.
“You lose a goal, you get a little disappointed for a second, you say a few bad words and you forget,” said Shesterkin, who improved to 7-1 this year in the face of 40 or more shots, including 3-1. in the post-season. It was the first game of the first round that he lost in such games against Pittsburgh, when he faced 83 shots in a 4-3 loss in a triple overtime.
Zibanejad opened the scoring with the first power-play goal in the Rangers series. He picked up a pass from Artemi Panarin and fired a shot from the left circle after Raanta’s 8:06 absence for the fourth of the first season. It was New York’s first goal since the start of the first half of Game 1.
MIX THE LINES
Looking for a spark, Gallant shuffled the lines to start the game. Andrew Copp opened up by centering a line with Kakko and Frank Vatrano. In the second row was Filip Chytil centering Kreider and Zibanejad. Panarin centered a line with Alexis Lafreniere and Ryan Strome. The fourth line was Kevin Rooney, Motte and Reaves.
Gallant returned to the usual lines of the team to start the third half.
Kreider’s goal gave him 47 points after the season, equaling Ron Duguay in ninth place in franchise history.