RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Chris Kreider scored twice, Igor Shesterkin was strong again at the net and the New York Rangers ended Carolina’s perfect postseason run at home by beating the Hurricanes in the crucial Game 7 of their second-round playoff series 6-2 defeated Monday night.
Shesterkin — a finalist for both the Vezina Trophy for Best Goalie in the League and the Hart Trophy for Most Valuable Player — finished with 36 saves and carried the shutout well into the third half. That included a stop from flat on his back on Sebastian Aho near the right post. Shesterkin grabbed the puck between his legs and flailed like he was trying to make a snow angel late in the first period.
Kreider and Adam Fox scored power-play goals in the first half as Rangers quickly took the lead. The Rangers then rode Shesterkin’s final offensive performance to win a fifth straight elimination game in that playoff. Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil also scored in an unexpected loss, with Andrew Copp adding a late empty net.
New York reaches the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2015 and meets two-time Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay. New York will host Game 1 of this series on Wednesday night.
The Hurricanes were held back by the loss of goaltender Antti Raanta and top rookie forward Seth Jarvis to injury. Jarvis suffered a shattering high hit in the first half and Raanta went down with a lower body injury while extending his right leg for a stop in the second. None returned to the game.
Raanta made 16 saves before his injury while rookie Pyotr Kochetkov allowed three goals on 12 shots from relief.
Even more impressively, Rangers’ victory came in an arena where the Hurricanes had lost 7-0 in the playoffs, including their first three meetings of that series.
New York coach Gerard Gallant said Sunday he has a group of players who are “having a lot of fun and believing in themselves.” They looked like they’d do both aplenty on Monday to earn a second straight comeback win from a multigame deficit.
First, they bounced back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat Pittsburgh in a seven-game first-round series. Then, after falling into a 2-0 hole in that series, New York responded with more resilience to reach the final in the east.
Tony DeAngelo eventually defeated Shesterkin midway through the third period. And as a sign of what a night it was, Rangers followed just 40 seconds later with Chytil’s goal for a 5-1 lead.
Max Domi also scored a late goal for the Hurricanes.
It was a tough night all round for Carolina, aside from the Rangers taking advantage of those early opportunities to man advantage to quickly take a 2-0 lead, matching Rangers’ scoring record in their first three games at Raleigh.
The Hurricanes were 6-0 in Game 7 since the former Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina in 1997. They attempted to become the first team in NHL history to win seven straight games.
Carolina also attempted to become the first to win multiple best-of-seven series in the same postseason with no road wins.
ELIMINATION GAME PRODUCTION
Fox scoring and assisting Kreider’s first goal put him on 10 points in elimination games this postseason.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, this is the highest performance by a defenseman in a single postseason, surpassing Ray Bourque in 1980, Ian Turnbull in 1976 and Denis Potvin in 1975.
https://www.cbs17.com/sports/carolina-hurricanes/hurricanes-fall-to-rangers-6-2-in-game-7-playoff-run-ends-for-carolina/ Hurricanes fall to Rangers 6-2 in Game 7; Playoff run ends for Carolina