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Rangers Beat Hurricanes In Both Games At MSG

In an electrifying series that had New York Rangers fans nervous for the first time this playoffs, the Blue Shirts emerged victorious in both home games against the dangerous Carolina Hurricanes; capped by a critical 2OT win at MSG. Despite being listed as underdogs in both games, the Game 2 saviors were goaltender Igor Shesterkin and his remarkable 54 saves, and Vincent Trocheck, who scored the game winning power play goal.

Given the rivalry between these two teams and the combination of highly skilled players, expectations are soaring for Game 3 and how the Rangers will handle the Canes on the road, especially with the series getting increasingly chippy.

Game 2 Saviors

In a display of heroic goaltending, Igor Shesterkin made a staggering 54 saves in Game 2, including 17 saves in a crucial third period that saw the Rangers trailing to start. He logged 10 saves in the first overtime, and five in the second overtime. The only way the Hurricanes pucks passed him was deflections. 

Vincent Trocheck has emerged as THE key player, his game winning goal pushed his goal streak to five straight games. His consistent resiliency, despite a tough night in the face-off circle, shined when needed the most. Alexis Lafrenière found a good time to get on the board this playoff run. He scored the first two goals for the Rangers and his first playoff goal since Round 1 in 2022.

Series Headlines

The Rangers’ effective penalty kill and power play coincide with the Hurricanes’ struggles. The Rangers have successfully killed off 18 consecutive penalties, improving their postseason penalty kill rate to 92.6% (25 for 27).

In contrast, the Rangers relied on their power play opportunities to turn the tides in their favor. Their highly effective PP unit has a conversion rate of 44.4%, going 4-for-9 in the series. The Rangers capitalized on their power play opportunities once again, while the Hurricanes failed to score on 10 power-play opportunities throughout the series.

Despite the Hurricanes outshooting the Rangers 57-39 in Game 2, they were unable to capitalize on numerous chances, illustrating the effectiveness of the Rangers’ defensive strategies. Sebastian Aho and Jake Guentzel were the only two Carolina skaters who were terrorizing Ranger fans. Guentzel with two goals and Aho dishing out a couple of pretty assists. They will be on top of the Rangers board defensively heading back to Raleigh. 

Igor Shesterkin’s Stellar Performance

Igor Shesterkin’s goaltending was a cornerstone of the Rangers’ success in Game 2, where he made an impressive 54 saves against the Hurricanes. Notably, Shesterkin’s performance included a sequence of 32 consecutive saves from the start of the third period to the end, showcasing his determination and skill under pressure. This feat places him third in the Rangers’ history for the most saves in a playoff game, underscoring his critical role in the team’s defensive strategy.

Over his career, Shesterkin has maintained a record of 5 wins, 4 losses, and a .915 save percentage against the Hurricanes, a pretty consistent performance against a great team. In the current playoff series, Shesterkin holds a record of 4-0, with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. Shesterkin has allowed three or fewer goals in 29 consecutive playoff games, second only to his now backup, Jonathan Quick, who had a streak of 34 in his days with the LA Kings.

Keys To Road Victories

As the New York Rangers gear up for Game 3 in Raleigh, the team carries great momentum, having won their first six games during these playoffs. The upcoming games in Raleigh present both an opportunity and a challenge, as the Rangers aim to maintain their playoff dominance. 

The Canes barrage of shots will continue, as they had 57 shots on net and over 100 shot attempts total in Game 2. The Rangers defense will have to continue to get down and dirty and block shots and match Carolina’s physicality. On the offensive end, they need to find more consistent success in the face off circle.

The power play has been great, but Rangers also need to continue to put pressure on Carolina’s defense with shots on goal. Frederick Andersen has struggled with rebounded shot attempts at his feet, that’s how Chris Kreider scored to tie the game in the third period, and that’s how Trocheck scored his game winner. Scoring in these dirty areas of the ice will feature Chris Kreider in the crease, and putting pucks on net for more rebound opportunities up close, with our without the power play.

Onto Raleigh 

The Rangers have demonstrated exceptional resilience with another comeback win in Game 2, and the dynamics,ic MSG crowd behind them; but the atmosphere in Raleigh is expected to be intense, with Rangers fans ready to take over on the road. With each playoff win, comparisons to the legendary 1994 Stanley Cup triumph are inevitable. The next two games in Raleigh will not only test the Rangers’ strategic and physical gameplay, but also their mental toughness and ability to perform under increased pressure and expectations against a hostile crowd.


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