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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

May 5, 2024 6:55 pm

Mika Zibanejad, Rangers hold off Hurricanes in Game 1

rangers mika

Mika Zibanejad scored twice in the opening 10:05 of the first period and the host New York Rangers hung on for a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Sunday afternoon in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series.

The Rangers never trailed and won their fifth straight playoff game. They can take a 2-0 series lead when they host Game 2 on Tuesday.

Zibanejad notched his second career multi-goal postseason game and also added an assist for his fourth career three-point playoff game.

Former Hurricane Vincent Trocheck also scored for the fourth straight game after getting three goals in New York’s four-game sweep of the Washington Capitals in the first round.

Artemi Panarin tallied what wound up as the game-winning goal in the third period and Chris Kreider contributed two assists for the Rangers, who netted four goals for the fourth time in the postseason so far.

Jaccob Slavin and Martin Necas scored for the Hurricanes, who are 0-4 all-time in the playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Seth Jarvis scored with the extra attacker with 1:45 left.

New York goalie Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves and preserved the one-goal lead with a sprawling stop on Andrei Svechnikov.

Carolina nearly had a golden chance by getting a power play with 40 seconds left when Trocheck was called for delay of game, but a few seconds later Svechnikov took a tripping penalty.

Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen stopped 19 shots after an injury kept him from these teams’ second-round series in 2022.

The Rangers went ahead 2:46 into the game when Zibanejad parked himself in the slot and awaited a pass. Jack Roslovic circled the net untouched and found an open Zibanejad, who ripped a shot over Andersen.

Carolina tied it 62 seconds later on a fluky bounce. Sebastian Aho kept the puck alive deep in the offensive zone and Slavin’s shot from the right point sailed through traffic and deflected off New York winger Alexis Lafreniere’s stick.

Zibanejad scored his second goal nine seconds after Carolina Tony DeAngelo was called for a roughing penalty. Trocheck moved the puck to Kreider in front of the net and following a no-look pass by Kreider, Zibanejad finished off a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle while falling to one knee.

Trocheck made it 3-1 14 seconds after a cross-checking penalty by Evgeny Kunzetsov. Trocheck waited in the middle of the crease, took a cross-ice feed from Zibanejad and backhanded the puck by Andersen at 16:28 of the first.

Following a neutral zone turnover by New York’s Barclay Goodrow, Necas made it 3-2 2:48 into the third by speeding past Rangers defensemen Ryan Lindgren and Adam Fox and finishing off a partial breakaway.

Panarin answered Necas’ goal by getting a shot from the left circle to trickle under Andersen with 11:39 left.

About a minute after Carolina pulled Andersen, Jarvis scored from the edge of the right side of the crease over a sprawled-out Shesterkin.

–Field Level Media

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