New York Rangers dig deep to beat Hurricanes and get back into the series
The New York Rangers used the energy of their fans at Madison Square Garden to find a way to win Game 3. Thanks to the brilliant goaltending of Igor Shesterkin, who stopped 43 of 44 shots the Rangers were able to maintain a lead throughout the contest.
Mika Zibanejad scored on the power play in the first period to get the Garden Party started. Chris Kreider added one in the middle stanza to extend the lead. With the Canes putting all kinds of pressure in the Rangers zone late, Tyler Motte scored a long empty-net goal to cap the game at 3-1.
“It starts with the older guys in the room, sometimes we play better hockey when we’re down,” Kreider told Emily Kaplan on ESPN. “Especially when you are playing at home it’s hard to not feed off that energy.”
Recap: Rangers 3 vs Hurricanes 1
Igor Shesterkin was the hero in this game as he withstood an early onslaught by the Hurricanes in the first period as they rattled off 17 shots. It was because of his net-minding that the Blueshirts were able to survive a mind-boggling 35 giveaways.
Zibanejad put the Rangers up 1-0 with 8:06 remaining when he converted a cross-ice feed by Artemi Panarin. He blasted a one-timer through Antti Raanta on the power play to get things going.
Just prior to the goal, Shesterkin made a huge diving save off Jesperi Kotkaniemi that would have changed the complexion of the game.
At the 5:55 mark of the second period, Kreider gave the Rangers their first two-goal lead of the series. Canes defenseman Tony DeAngelo lost his stick just prior to Kreider coming from behind the net to whip it by Rannta’s right arm.
“There’s a little more emphasis on putting pucks on net and crashing the net,” Jacob Trouba said. “We’re not going away easy. We’ve shown that all year and we’re going to come back in Game 4 to try and even this thing up.”
Rangers and Canes gets feisty
Carolina made it 2-1 when Niederreiter’s backhander beat Shesterkin, stunning him and the crowd.
“You say a few mean words and then you forget about it,” he said with a laugh afterwards.
From there the Canes were pushing hard for the tie but the Rangers did an amazing job in their own zone to keep them to the outside.
Tyler Motte added the empty-net goal with 83 seconds left to secure the victory.
“Killed some penalties, scored a power play goals and that’s how you win hockey games,” Gerard Gallant said with relief. “It was a tight battle again– Igor was outstanding and that was the key.”
At the end of the game things got a little out of hand after Max Domi cross-checked Ryan Lindgren. That set off a scrum that got both sides fired up.
“I wasn’t happy with the bullshit they initiated. We didn’t do that when the games were close and we’ve got the guys that can handle theirs,” Gallant said. “Domi took a cheap shot at our defenseman and you got a long memory in this and it might be on the other foot one day.”
The Rangers have now cut the Canes series lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series with a chance to even the series Tuesday at the Garden.
- Igor Shesterkin has stopped 87 of 91 shots in this series
- Tyler Motte’s ENG was his first point in the playoffs
- Chris Kreider tied Ron Duguay for 9th most NYR playoff points (47)
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