Rangers to face Hurricanes in second round of 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Two days after completing a four-game sweep against the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers know who their second-round opponent will be in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Rangers will face the Carolina Hurricanes in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round. The start date for the series is not yet known.

The Hurricanes eliminated the New York Islanders with a 6-3 win in Game 5 down in Raleigh on Tuesday.

So, the stage is set for what should be a doozy of a series between the top two teams from the Metropolitan Division. The Presidents’ Trophy-winning Rangers finished first in the Metro this season, setting franchise records for wins (55) and points (114). The Hurricanes were second in the division with 111 points, which was third most in the NHL behind the Blueshirts and Dallas Stars (113).

The Rangers won two of three games against the Hurricanes this season, splitting a pair at Madison Square Garden and winning the only game played in Raleigh. That contest, a 1-0 Rangers victory March 12, was played with playoff intensity and showcased two of the elite teams in the League, while providing a glimpse of how great a seven-game series can be between them.

Two of the three games were decided by one goal. The Hurricanes won the lone blowout in the series, 6-1 at The Garden on Jan. 2 when Andrei Svechnikov scored twice and Carolina pulled away with a three-goal third period.

Chris Kreider led the Rangers with two goals against the Hurricanes. Igor Shesterkin started all three games, allowing seven goals. Frederik Andersen, who missed most of the season with a blood clot issue that was diagnosed after a 2-1 loss to the Rangers on Nov. 2, appeared in just one of the three games. Pyotr Kochetkov started twice for Carolina and was 1-1-0, allowing only two goals.

Related: Captain, popular rookie among Rangers unsung heroes in first-round sweep

Rangers and Hurricanes to meet in postseason for 3rd time

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

This will be third postseason series played between the Rangers and Hurricanes. The Blueshirts are 1-1 in the postseason against the Hurricanes, swept in three games during the 2020 play-in tournament in the bubble and winning in seven games during the 2022 second round.

A key storyline in this series will feature Rangers center Vincent Trocheck, who played parts of three seasons with the Hurricanes, and in each series against the Blueshirts. Trocheck had an NHL career-high 77 points this season, six points in the first round against the Capitals and is on a three-game goal streak entering Round 2.

Former Rangers first-round pick Brady Skjei is a top-four defenseman with the Hurricanes, who are currently without injured former Blueshirts forward Jesper Fast. Defenseman Tony DeAngelo also plays for Carolina after a somewhat controversial tenure with New York.

Rangers coach Peter Laviolette will try to knock off one of his former teams in consecutive rounds to start these playoffs. Laviolette coached the Capitals from 2020-23 and the Hurricanes from 2003-08. He guided Carolina to its only Stanley Cup championship in 2006.

There’s also another developing subplot. Rangers center Filip Chytil sustained an upper-body injury believed to be a concussion in the Nov. 2 win against the Hurricanes and did not play again in the regular season. Chytil has been practicing with the Rangers for the past three weeks and could be an option at some point in the playoffs, perhaps even in this series.

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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