This was an opponent the young and rebuilding Rangers appeared to match up well against. Then the Rangers took two big hits, one was the suspension of spark plug, Brendan Lemieux and the other was the loss of their starter, Igor Shesterkin before the puck ever dropped.
Things got worse one minute into the opening period of the first game. Former Ranger, Brady Skjei took out Jesper Fast with a hit and the Rangers best defensive forward was gone. He was replaced in game two by Steven Fogarty, but now some important lineup decisions loom for David Quinn.
Rangers face elimination against Carolina
The Rangers are on the brink and they seem to be outclassed in every facet of the game. Truth be told, they haven’t really tested Hurricanes goalie, Petr Mrazek much, but when they have he’s come through.
Now with Brendan Lemieux’s suspension over, the easy choice is to replace Steven Fogarty in the lineup. That would shift Phil DiGiuseppe to the 4th line. It would certainly help having Brendan Lemieux back. If Jesper Fast is also available, either Greg McKegg or PDG would be replaced.
Check out all the best goals from yesterday, at The Daily Goal Horn!
Who should the Rangers start?
The big question is who should the Rangers start in goal if Igor Shesterkin is still unfit to play? Conventional wisdom says to go with Henrik Lundqvist, who played very well in game one, but struggled in game two. For his career, he’s made a reputation in elimination games, but he is no longer the same goalie of 2012-2015.
My call would be to go with Alexandar Georgiev, simply to give the Hurricanes a new puzzle to solve. While Georgiev’s play suffered in the three goalie rotation, he has been known to sparkle when coming off cold as Hank’s backup.
NYR vs CAR: Pre-game notes
- The Rangers have won 15 of the last 21 playoff games in which they have faced elimination, dating back to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Ottawa in 2012.
- The Rangers are playing playoff games on back-to-back days for the first time since Game 2 and Game 3 of the Second Round in 2014 against Pittsburgh. In the last seven instances which the Blueshirts have played playoff games on back-to-back days, the Rangers have won the second game five times (dating back to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 1994 against the NY Islanders).
- The Rangers have played in 12 best-of-five playoff series in franchise history and most recently played in a best-of-five series in the Patrick Division Semifinals against Philadelphia in 1986. New York has posted an 8-4 all-time series record in best-of-five playoff series, and its eight series wins in best-of-five series are the most in Stanley Cup Playoffs history.
Notes courtesy of NYR PR Dept.