Vincent Trocheck credits fans for Rangers ‘balls to wall’ play in Game 1 win vs. Hurricanes

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

True to form, Vincent Trocheck remained a straight shooter after the New York Rangers skated to a 4-3 series-opening win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. The All-Star center credited Rangers fans for the team’s spirited start.

“Fans were rocking tonight and, obviously, that plays a huge part in getting our emotions into it, getting our adrenaline going,” Trocheck explained postgame. “Credit to them getting us into it early.”

It took all of two minutes 46 seconds for the Rangers to score the first goal of the series, when Mika Zibanejad buried a slick feed from Jack Roslovic. And even though Carolina answered right back to tie it, New York pulled away with two power-play goals to take a 3-1 lead by 16:28 of the first period.

The Garden was rocking and the Rangers were rolling. And Trocheck wasn’t surprised by the passionate start.

“I haven’t seen any teams ease into a series,” he said. “Usually in the first game it’s balls to the wall for the first period at least.”

And so it was at MSG on Sunday, with the Rangers surviving a late Hurricanes push to win Game 1 in this best-of-7 series between two of the top teams in the League.

“That was a good one. The start was pretty electric, those goals early helped,” Jacob Trouba said Monday. “The Garden was amazing. The fans were great.”

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Vincent Trocheck delivers again for Rangers in series-opening win

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers
Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, Trocheck played a major role in the Game 1 win. He earned an assist on Zibanejad’s power-play goal that gave New York a 2-1 lead and then went to the net to slide a puck under Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen for another power-play marker to make it 3-1.

The 30-year-old is second on the Rangers with eight points (four goals, four assists) in the postseason. He has at least one point in all five games, helping the rangers start the playoffs 5-0. He’s also riding a four-game goal streak, including power-play goals in three straight.

Once again, Trocheck led Rangers forwards in ice time (20:28) and helped stifle his former team in both special teams. Trocheck helped the Rangers go 2-for-2 on the power play and kill off all five Hurricanes power-play opportunities.

“I thought we had a good penalty kill, we were aggressive,” Trocheck explained. “Power play, it was just a matter of finding some open spaces. They’re aggressive, so you have to find open areas where you can quickly.”

When asked about Trocheck’s great start to the playoffs, Rangers coach Peter Laviolette quickly pointed out, “it’s not just tonight … it was the entire year.”

“He’s been a guy that has been counted on for so many situations. His level of play … has been excellent,” Laviolette said. “He’s somebody we count on for both sides of the puck, offensively and defensively. Tonight was just more a reflection of the regular season.”

Trocheck and the Rangers will look to reward the Garden Faithful again on Tuesday, when they face-off against the Hurricanes in Game 2.

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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