For the seventh straight time to start this postseason, the Carolina Hurricanes won on home ice Thursday night in PNC Arena.
The Canes beat the Rangers 3-1, dominating most of the game to grab a hold of a 3-2 series lead before things shift back to Madison Square Garden for game six.
It was a great night for slump busting for the Hurricanes, as Vincent Trocheck, Martin Necas, Andrei Svechnikov, Tony DeAngelo and the Carolina power play all picked up their first points of the series in the win.
Trocheck scored the opener in the first period to give the Canes the lead, with Teuvo Teravainen scoring on the power play in the second period. Svechnikov added an insurance goal in the third, beating Igor Shesterkin one-one-one to solidify the win. Mika Zibanejad scored the lone goal for the Rangers, on the power play in the first period.
As a team, the Hurricanes did a phenomenal job at limiting pretty much everything from the Rangers. Antti Raanta was good in net but not super busy, as he turned away 16 of 17 shots faced while the Canes held the Rangers to just 19 scoring chances on the night.
Carolina came out really strong in the first period, with Jesper Fast getting two good wraparound looks in the early minutes as the Hurricanes controlled play. The Canes got a prime chance on another wraparound attempt, this one from Trocheck, though Alexis Lafreniere came barreling in after getting shoved by Brendan Smith and took the net off its bearings. The attempt from Trocheck didn’t make it all the way around either way.
It was the Rangers who got the first power play of the night, thanks to a boarding by Andrei Svechnikov, but it was the Canes who found the back of the net during the two minutes that Svechnikov was in the box.
An awful turnover by the Rangers led to a 2-on-1 break for Trocheck and Jordan Staal, with Staal unleashing a beautiful, inch-perfect saucer pass to Trocheck to make it a 1-0 game. It was Carolina’s second shorthanded goal of the series, as the penalty kill tallied twice before the power play was able to score once for the Canes.
The Rangers got another power play very shortly after, though, as an ill-advised retaliatory cross check was called on Ian Cole, who committed the offense right in front of an official.
This time New York scored almost immediately, as Zibanejad blasted home a shot from the top of the circle off the an offensive-zone faceoff win just six seconds into the man advantage.
It looked as if the Rangers had taken a 2-1 lead early in the second period, as Ryan Strome got one past Raanta on the break just seconds after Sebastian Aho rang the post on the other end of the ice.
The goal was ruled off after a coaches challenge from Rod Brind’Amour, though, as the play was pretty blatantly offside with Andrew Copp still three or four feet past the blue line when the puck entered the Hurricanes’ zone.
A bit later in the second period the Canes finally broke through on the power play, scoring their first goal with an extra man of this series and breaking a streak of over 20 scoreless minutes on the power play.
The goal was a pretty one for the Hurricanes, as Seth Jarvis made a wonderful pass to Teravainen. The Finnish winger, who leads Carolina in points this postseason, settled the puck and unleashed a great wrister to beat Shesterkin and give the Canes a 2-1 lead.
The second period came to an end with the score still at 2-1. Aho hit another post, this one from right in front of Shesterkin, while Jarvis was injured on a follow through from Strome that caught him in the face and drew blood. After a few minutes away, Jarvis returned before the end of the middle period.
The Carolina Hurricanes were all over their game in the third period, buzzing and dominating play as New York didn’t really muster anything offensively while the Canes poured on chances in the offensive zone.
The Canes finally broke through for an insurance goal 13:01 into the final frame, as Svechnikov picked up the puck in the neutral zone, skated in and beat Shesterkin one-on-one through his five-hole.
The goal was a big one for Svechnikov, who scored three times in the Boston series but had yet to record a point in the second round against the Rangers.
The Canes saw out the win and will now look to do what they haven’t been able to do yet this postseason: win on the road.
The recipe is there for Carolina. The Canes completely, overwhelmingly played their game on Thursday night, apparently taking away New York’s will as the game went along. If that effort can be replicated on the road, there’s no reason the Canes can’t finish this thing off in game six on Saturday.