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About Last Night: Déjà vu, all over again

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The Carolina Hurricanes went on the road and the postseason and lost.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes are making history this postseason, folks.

The Canes are the first team in NHL history to lose their first six road games of a single postseason, as they fell 5-2 Saturday night in Madison Square Garden as the Rangers forced a winner-take-all game seven back in Raleigh.

It was a pretty familiar night for the Canes, as special teams struggled on the road as Carolina got off to a pretty rough start and couldn’t claw its way fully back into things.

About last night:

Let’s talk about the penalty kill

The Canes posted one of the greatest penalty kills in NHL history during the regular season, pacing the league with a monstrous 88 percent kill rate. The PK dominated the year from start to finish and was the single greatest strength of the Hurricanes’ Metro-winning season.

But now in the playoffs, Carolina’s penalty kill is kind of letting it down.

The Rangers are now 5 for 18 on the power play this series after a 2 for 5 night on Saturday, as the Canes’ second-round kill rate is an abysmal 72%. During the postseason as a whole, the Canes are at just 77%.

The Hurricanes kill hasn’t been very good, and it’s proven fairly costly in the road losses this postseason. On Saturday, the Rangers scored twice on the power play as part of the dismantling of the Canes.

It was Carolina’s third game this postseason in which it has allowed two power-play goals. For context, the Canes had just six games during the 82-game regular season in which they allowed two or more power play goals.

Antti Raanta’s rough night

For really the first time this postseason, Antti Raanta wasn’t good Saturday night.

Raanta made just 10 saves while allowing three goals in 23:14 of action, as he got pulled in favor of Pyotr Kochetkov just a few minutes into the second period after allowing his third goal of the night.

And even worse, the goals Raanta allowed were pretty soft.

But the Canes aren’t worried, and they really shouldn’t be. Raanta has been absolutely dynamite this postseason, and there’s no need to panic because of one bad game.

“We’re not worried about Raanta,” said Jordan Staal. “He’ll be ready to go.”

As for a potential change in net for the Canes in game seven, Rod Brind’Amour isn’t switching anything.

“Give me a day to figure it out, but yes, he’ll be starting,” Brind’Amour said.

Other Notes

  • It’s time for game seven, again. The great news for the Hurricanes is that it’ll be at home, and they also don’t have a history of losing in game seven. Including the game seven win over the Bruins in the first round, the Canes have won six straight game sevens.
  • The Canes have to stop taking stupid penalties. Some of their infractions Saturday were forgivable, but others were just flat-out dumb.