The Carolina Hurricanes continued their great Jekyll and Hyde routine of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs Saturday, falling 5-2 to the Rangers in game 6 at Madison Square Garden, sending the series back to Raleigh for a game 7 Monday.
With the loss, the Canes are now 7-0 at home and 0-6 on the road in these playoffs.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Canes played fairly well but had a large number of self inflicted wounds in this one. Antti Raanta allowed two goals he should have stopped en route to the Rangers building a 3-0 lead, leading Rod Brind’Amour to make what’s been a rare move on his part and go to Pyotr Kochetkov (who also allowed a very leaky goal).
You should definitely stop me because you’ve definitely heard this one before, but special teams also played a large role in this one, with the Rangers notching a pair of power-play goals and the Canes going 0 for 3 with the man advantage.
Brady Skjei led Carolina with a goal and an assist, and Vincent Trocheck scored his second goal in as many games.
The Canes got off to an unfortunate start in this one. Directly after Igor Shesterkin stopped a clear-cut breakaway chance from Sebastian Aho, Tyler Motte leaked a shot through Raanta at the other end that Carolina’s goalie needed to have to make it a 1-0 game.
The familiar road woes continued a couple minutes later, as, with the Rangers up a man due to a Brendan Smith high-sticking penalty, Mika Zibanjead worked his way to the outside and beat Raanta with a low shot, another one the Finnish netminder probably wants back.
Early in the second period, the Canes gave up multiple odd-man rushes, with Filip Chytil eventually beating Raanta to make it a 3-0 game. This prompted Brind’Amour to make what’s been a rare move and pull Raanta for Pyotr Kochetkov.
Shortly after making the switch, Skjei put the Canes on the board with his first playoff goal as a Hurricane, striking against his former team with a shot through traffic.
Brady Skjei with a goal against his former team. Gets the Hurricanes on the board pic.twitter.com/3yKwRrYdoE— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 29, 2022
Shortly after that, however, Chytil leaked a backhander through Kochetkov to put New York back up by three.
The Canes, however, kept hanging around, as Trocheck beat Shesterkin on his backhand for his second goal in as many games to bring Carolina back within two with about seven minutes left in the second frame.
The Hurricanes got two chances to make it a one-goal game late in the period on the power play, but could not convert.
With the Rangers on a 5 on 3 with Ian Cole and Jaccob Slavin both in the box with about 12 minutes left, Artemi Panarin gave the Rangers some insurance, and, effectively, scored the dagger goal to make it 5-2.
The Canes and Rangers will square off in game 7 Monday at PNC Arena, with the winner advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals and a date with the Tampa Bay Lightning.