Artemi Panarin overtime goal lifts Rangers to 3-2 win in Game 3 against Hurricanes

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Artemi Panarin’s goal 1:43 into overtime lifted the New York Rangers to a 3-2 overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round in Raleigh on Thursday. The Blueshirts have won seven straight games to start the postseason for the first time since 1994, and are now one win away from their second straight playoff series sweep.

Panarin scored his fourth game-winning goal of these playoffs when he deftly deflected Vincent Trocheck’s pass between his legs and past Carolina goalie Pyotr Kochetkov. It was New York’s second straight win after regulation. They took Game 2 at home 4-3 when Trocheck scored in double overtime.

Like in Game 2, Igor Shesterkin was a difference maker for the Rangers. He was rock solid with 45 saves, and has stopped 99 shots in the past two games. It was also his 30th consecutive playoff game allowing three goals or fewer.

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour even praised Shesterkin after the game, saying “He’s world class. He’s done a great job.”

Panarin had a goal and assist and Trocheck had two assists for New York. Alexis Lafreniere and Chris Kreider also scored goals.

Andrei Svechnikov had a goal and an assist, and Jake Guentzel also scored for the Hurricanes, who were 0-for-5 on the power play and are now 0-for-15 with the man advantage in the series.

Kochetkov made his first start of this postseason and had 22 saves for Carolina. He replaced veteran Frederik Andersen, who returned to the Hurricanes in March after missing four months following a blood-clotting issue.

Speaking of returns, Filip Chytil was back in the Rangers lineup for the first time since sustaining an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion on Nov. 2 against the Hurricanes. Six months later, he was in the lineup in Raleigh, skating 12:02 on the third line with Alex Wennberg and Kaapo Kakko. He had one shot on goal and was none the worse for wear following the big win.

“This team is unbelievable, what they did without me for a whole season,” Chytil said postgame. “But I know with me, we can be even better. I just love this team. I love these players. I love everybody in this organization.”

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New York Rangers 3 – Carolina Hurricanes 2 (OT)

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Rangers at Carolina Hurricanes
Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Though outshot 37-19 through the first two periods, the Rangers found themselves in a 1-1 tie after 40 minutes due to some terrific goaltending by Shesterkin and their stifling penalty kill.

Carolina came out with plenty of jump and physicality, and clearly had a step on the Rangers for most of the first period. Despite a large territorial advantage, most of Carolina’s 17 shots in the first period were from the outside and often with minimal traffic in front of Shesterkin.

However, the Hurricanes were able to score the game’s first goal when Guentzel deflected a Dmitry Orlov shot past Shesterkin at 10:14. It was Guentzel’s third goal of the series and fourth of the playoffs and came at the end of a tour-de-force shift by Svechnikov, who hit everything in sight, won a big puck battle and earned the secondary assist.

Bad blood spilled over at 11:25 after Barclay Goodrow tapped Kochetkov’s glove following a save. Carolina objected and a big scrum ensued, with Jimmy Vesey and Jesperi Kotkaniemi dropping the gloves and taking a few swings before being separated. Two players from each side received minor penalties and things settled down after that sequence.

The Rangers likely felt good about trailing only by one goal after the first period since so much of the action took place in their end of the ice. Shesterkin then stepped up early in the second to keep the score 1-0, stoning Jordan Staal and Stefan Noesen from in close during the first minute of the period.

A few minutes later Panarin had New York’s first real good scoring chance when he hopped out of the penalty box, took a long pass and was off on a breakaway. Kochetkov, though, did a good job staying with Panarin, forcing him wide to the left, and the Rangers sniper ended up shooting the puck off the side of the net.

The next time the Rangers had a rush, though, they didn’t miss.

A takeaway by Mika Zibanejad at center ice led to a shorthanded goal by Kreider, that tied the game 1-1 at 8:30 of the second. Zibanejad scooted up left wing and Kreider flew past Carolina defenseman Brent Burns to create a 2-on-1. Kreider buried Zibanejad’s feed for his second career shorthanded goal in the postseason and his fourth goal of these playoffs.

Less than a minute later, Kochetkov denied Trocheck on another shorthanded breakaway as the Rangers penalty kill remained dominant. Before the period ended, the Rangers penalty kill was 4-for-4 and Kreider nearly scored another shorty, but his shot off a 2-on-1 rush hit the post at 12:20.

Shesterkin stopped all 20 shots he faced in the second period, including a sharp right-pad stop on Sebastian Aho’s right-wing drive early and a stick save on a Jordan Martinook give-and-go wrist shot late.

The Rangers took their first lead of Game 3 at 6:24 of the third period when Lafreniere whistled a one-timer through the legs of Brady Skjei and past the outstretched glove of Kochetkov to make it 2-1. Trocheck chipped a pass to Panarin, who in turn swung a perfect pass into the middle of the ice to Lafreniere.

With a chance to, perhaps, put the game away after Tony DeAngelo was whistled for slashing Jacob Trouba at 9:12, the Rangers failed to score on the power play, making them 0-for-4 on the night. Then Braden Schneider was assessed a cross-checking penalty at 11:38 but the Rangers penalty kill came through again holding the Hurricanes without a shot.

However, the next time the Hurricanes were a man up, they tied the game. With Kochetkov pulled for an extra attacker, Carolina scored a 6-on-5 goal to tie the game with 1:36 remaining in regulation. After Shesterkin made a pad save through traffic, Svechnikov buried the rebound, his second playoff goal ultimately forcing overtime for the second straight game in this series.

But before the clock ticked down to all zeroes, Kochetkov made his biggest play of the game, a perfectly-timed poke check to deny Kreider’s break in with 34 seconds remaining.

The Rangers were not to be denied, though, and they made quick work of the Hurricanes in overtime, with Panarin’s brilliant goal giving the Rangers an absolute stranglehold on this series.

The Blueshirts can finish off their second straight series sweep and reach the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in three seasons when they play Game 4 on Saturday in Raleigh.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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