After Colorado finally dispensed of St. Louis Friday night, there is only one series left in the second round to be decided: the Carolina Hurricanes vs. the New York Rangers. Unlike practically every other series this round, there’s no history of bad blood between the teams, but the action on the ice has been closer than expected — especially at home, as neither team has lost in their own arena.
The Hurricanes were at home at PNC Arena on Thursday, where they picked up their third win of the series. Vincent Trocheck, Teuvo Teräväinen, and Andrei Svechnikov all scored for Carolina in the 3-1 victory while Mika Zibanejad scored the lone goal for New York. Goaltending has been a big factor in many of the series this playoffs — arguably more so than any year previous — and the last game was no different as Igor Shesterkin once more had to put on a masterclass just to keep the score close for a majority of the game, facing 34 shots total and 16 high danger chances, both about double the amount Antti Raanta had to face in the opposite net.
If the Rangers hope to push for a Game 7, they’re going to need to help Shesterkin out a lot more, and being at Madison Square Garden might help as the Rangers have outscored the Hurricanes 7-2 in Games 3 and 4 there. As for the Hurricanes, they’re chasing an elusive road win — it’d be their first of these playoffs — to end the series in six games so they can head on to face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final.
There will be no games Sunday regardless of the outcome. If the Rangers force a Game 7, they’ll see the Hurricanes back in Carolina on Monday. If the Hurricanes are victorious, the third round of the playoffs starts Tuesday with Game 1 between the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers.
Saturday, May 28
*All times Central