The Carolina Hurricanes’ road woes from the first round carried over into the second round Sunday afternoon in Madison Square Garden, as the Canes fell 3-1 to the Rangers as New York cut a 2-0 series deficit to 2-1.
Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider put goals past Antti Raanta to give New York an advantage in the game, with Tyler Motte adding an empty netter to ice the game. Nino Niederreiter scored the lone goal for the visitors, a soft backhanded effort that somehow made its way past Igor Shesterkin.
Special teams were once again a costly endeavor for the Hurricanes Sunday, as New York went 1 for 2 on the power play while the Hurricanes went 0 for 3, another game in which Carolina’s man advantage just couldn’t get a single things going.
Following the game three defeat, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Niederreiter, Slavin
On the loss: They all kinda suck when you don’t win. Overall, we had our opportunities to win. It felt pretty good, the way we were going. We just couldn’t get the puck in the net.
On the difference in the game: We didn’t score enough. Our power play needs to connect. Special teams are a big part of it, but I liked our power play for the most part. We did some good things. We just need to get it in the back of the net.
On the pace of play in game three compared to games one and two: A little more up and down. Certainly more scoring opportunities. I liked our game, overall. You’re not going to win if you don’t score more than one. They blocked a ton of shots, so give them a ton of credit. I looked up and we still had like 40 (shots on net). I stopped looking at one point, so we’re getting pucks there, but they’re just not getting through. Give them a lot of credit.
On the skirmish at the end of the game: I didn’t see what happened, so I can’t comment on that.
On Raanta: He was good. Both goalies were good tonight. They got the one (power-play goal). It boils down to that, for me. If we kill that or we get one on ours, I think the game goes either way.
On the fourth line: They were good. They had, I don’t know how many chances, especially at the end when Lorentz had a semi-breakaway. They were on it. Everyone had opportunities. We just have to find a way to get it in the net, obviously.
On the game: I would take that game, most nights, if I’m being honest with you. We had pretty good opportunities and grade-A’s. We did have some seconds. We were around the net. We didn’t capitalize on the power play, and they did. That was kinda... it boils down to that. It really shouldn’t because, if we get a 5-on-5 somewhere else then maybe it doesn’t, but we gotta come through there. Especially at the end.
On the process vs. result: In the playoffs, you don’t talk about process. That’s what the regular season’s for.
On the power play being the difference: Yeah, I would say so. We definitely had enough chances to win this hockey game. It was definitely the start we wanted. We knew we had to play our way to win that hockey game, and at the end of the day the power play let us down again.
On the issues with the power play: It’s tough to say. We’ve got to find a way to bear down when we have the chances. Our penalty kill is for the most part terrific, but on the power play we just can’t find a way to get a goal.
On the intensity in the game: No definitely more tight checking. We gave them way too many chances off the rush. It started to open up again, which we definitely don’t want to do. But for the most part we had a lot of shots, but didn’t get enough traffic.
On his goal: I did try to see if somebody comes down on the far, but at the end of the day I came close to the net and was trying to go short side. I’m glad it went in.
On the difference in the game: Like I said, we have to find a way to get a goal on the power play. That’s something that we have to address. We have to sharpen up and make them pay when we have it.
On getting chances and traffic on the power play: Kind of, but at the same time we didn’t get enough. We didn’t get the puck through. We wanted to get more shots. They kept blocking the shots, especially on [Andrei Svechnikov]’s side. That’s something we’ve got to address and find a way to get them through.
On the special teams: Our guys battled hard. We put a lot of shots on net, had a lot of good opportunities. At the end of the day, it’s not good enough. We’ve got to be better on the kill and better on the power play.
On the issue with the power play: It’s execution, honestly. We’ve got guys who are skilled. We’ve had the power play in the past and throughout the season be excellent. We were in the top there for a while. It’s just a matter of execution and, honestly, work. We’ve got to work a little harder.
On the game: A little bit more wide open. I think we know how good that Staal line is against their top line. When you don’t get that matchup every single night — I don’t think it’s as big of a deal in this series — but they’re going. A little surprising, but at the end of the day we’ve got to be better.
On the chirping and intensity between the teams being ramped up: Not that I could tell, honestly. Maybe a little bit. I’m probably not the right guy to ask. It’s emotional. It’s playoffs. Everyone is giving it their all. Emotions are high, and it’s just keeping those in check.