Rangers let down by bad start and power play fall 3-2 to Hurricanes, Shesterkin doubtful for game two

Jacob Slavin opened the scoring when he found the eye of the needle over Henrik Lundqvist’s shoulder just 1:01 into the game. From there the Hurricanes put on a clinic and shut down the Rangers 7th rank power play seven times.

Henrik Lundqvist kept the Rangers in it throughout

Henrik Lundqvist got the nod today as the Rangers learned last night that Igor Shesterkin was “unfit to play”. New York’s 38 year-old goaltender stopped 34 of 37 shots, including some remarkable saves to keep the Rangers in it.

After the game, Hank sounded extremely confident. “I enjoy being out there and competing,” he said. “I think we did a lot of good things. We’ll watch some video and learn from this, and I’m sure we’ll be better in the next one,” the King concluded.

Poor Start and lack of offense on power play did them in

The Rangers were sloppy to start the game and were lucky to get out of only down by one. New York was outshot 12-4 in the opening period, but then played a strong second and decent third. Shots were 25-22 Carolina in the final two stanzas with the Hurricanes getting two power plays to the Rangers none in the third.

As for the Rangers goose egg on the power play, David Quinn summed it up real quick, “we were too slow!”

Henrik Lundqvist stood tall today (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

Jesper Fast injured and Ryan Strome throws fists

Jesper Fast left the game very early on in the first period after being hit high by Brady Skjei. You can see the hit here, but it was a tough loss to the lineup. The Blueshirts could be without his services for game 2. Does Vitali Kravtsov get a look? More likely than not, he will be replaced by Vinni Lettieri.

The Rangers did respond well and were physical throughout the game. Proof you are in playoff hockey is when Justin Williams and Ryan Strome squared off. Williams got a shot in, but Stromer held his own.

Mika Zibanejad continues to score goals

Mika Zibanejad got the Rangers on the board in the second period on a beautiful deflection off a smart Ryan Lindgren shot. The Blueshirts other goal came late, as Marc Staal who had the game-winner go off his skate cut the lead by one with a shorthanded blast.

Kaapo Kakko got his feet wet in the NHL playoffs

While it was hard to watch Artemi Panarin struggle for most of the game, young Kaapo Kakko looked like he was ready to explode. The 19 year-old rookie fired a game high 5 shots on goal, pacing all shooters on both sides. If he continues firing pucks, he could be the tide that turns this series for the Rangers.

Igor Shesterkin is doubtful for game two

Igor Shesterkin was pegged to be the starter, but the Rangers found out last night he would be unable to go. It should be noted that this is NOT COVID-19 related, because he was in the stands to watch the game and not quarantined.

After the game David Quinn said, “we’re not sure that he’ll be ready to play for game 2,” about Shesterkin. The Rangers will be practicing tomorrow at 10AM.

CAR 3 vs NYR 2: Post game notes

  • Today’s game was the Rangers’ first all-time game in the month of August.
  • Today’s game was the Rangers’ fourth all-time playoff neutral site game in franchise history and their first since Game 3 of the 1950 Stanley Cup Finals against Detroit (which was played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto).
  • Eight different Rangers made their Stanley Cup Playoff debut in today’s game (Filip Chytil, Tony DeAngelo, Phillip Di Giuseppe, Adam Fox, Julien Gauthier, Brett Howden, Kaapo Kakko, and Ryan Lindgren).

Notes courtesy of the NYR PR Dept.

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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