Rangers blow away Hurricanes 6-2; head to Eastern Conference Final
The New York Rangers let it all hang out in Game 7 in Carolina and ended the Hurricanes seven-game winning streak at home. They did so in authoritative fashion and will now host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden in the Eastern Conference Final.
“We’re a resilient group, we’re a young group and we have a lot of faith in each other,” Adam Fox said on ESPN. “When our backs are against the wall it brings out the best in us.”
Recap: Rangers 6 vs Hurricanes 2
Jacob Trouba set the tone early with a monstrous hit on Seth Jarvis that knocked him out of the game. As the youngster struggled to get back to the bench, the Hurricanes were called for too-many-men on the ice.
With the power play winding down, Alexis Lafrenière hit Fox coming in from the point who scored with just two seconds left on the man advantage. Andrew Copp would get the other assist.
Mika Zibanejad would set up his best friend and line-mate Chris Kreider on another power play just 4:20 after Fox’s tally. The goal before an incredible save by Igor Shesterkin on Teuvo Teravainen alone in the slot.
In the second period, the Rangers came on strong and were getting pressure down low on the Canes defense. Antti Raanta making a diving attempt to stop Zibanejad at the doorstep suffered a lower-body injury and would not return.
Once again, Pyotr Kochetkov was thrust into action and was under siege immediately.
Ryan Strome, who just missed a glorious chance seconds before came in 2-on-1 with Copp. Using him as a decoy, he snapped it home for a 3-0 lead and the only goal in the period.
“We won’t die and can’t wait for Game 1 [against Tampa],” Strome said on MSG Networks. “We’ll enjoy it for an hour, watch some video tomorrow. This one feels real good.”
Rangers pour it on
The Rangers came out just as strong in the final frame as they could taste the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since 2015.
Kreider would basically end any idea of a comeback by the Canes with a partial breakaway goal for his 8th of the playoffs.
Vincent Trocheck got the Canes on the board 8:11 into the third period only to see Filip Chytil answer just 40 seconds later with a soul-crushing goal.
Max Domi scored late giving Rod Brind’Amour cause to pull his goalie. That’s when Copp took a Zibanejad pass to slip it into the empty net and set up the matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“Our goalie led the way,” Gerard Gallant said. “We took advantage on the power play and made it tough for them to comeback. You’ve got a pay price to win games in this league. I love the way our guys competed. I’ve said it 100 times this year, we’re not perfect but we find a way to win.”
The New York Rangers are heading to the Eastern Conference Final.
- Igor Shesterkin stopped 37 of 39 shots
- Adam Fox’s PPG set a single postseason record for points by a defenseman in elimination games (2G – 9A)
- Chris Kreider’s 2 goals gives him 15, the most by active skaters in elimination games
- Mika Zibanjead picked up 3 assists and leads the Rangers in playoff scoring with 19 points
Tomorrow (Tuesday, May 31): No practice. Rangers President & GM Chris Drury, Head Coach Gerard Gallant, and select players available to the media at 2:00 PM at the MSG Training Center.
Next Game: Wednesday, June 1 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning – Game 1 (8:00 PM – TV: ESPN)
*Schedule subject to change