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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

May 4, 2024 1:31 pm

Rested Rangers host Hurricanes to open second round of playoffs

rangers hurricanes madison

Two seasons ago, the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes met in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in a series that went seven games.

Both teams are coming off quick series victories in the opening round, giving them plenty of rest for a series many anticipate could go the distance as the second round gets underway in the Eastern Conference on Sunday afternoon in New York.

“They’ve been the standard of the division for the last couple years,” Rangers captain Jacob Trouba told reporters at practice on Wednesday about Carolina. “Coming into this year, that’s the team you want to overtake. You want to be ahead of them in the standings. It’s no different in playoffs. They’ve been a consistently good team for years now. I think we’ve gotten better over the years, and it’s going be a great series.”

The Hurricanes held home-ice advantage two seasons ago, and the home team won the first six games until New York finished the series with a dominant 6-2 win under then-coach Gerard Gallant.

Back then, the Hurricanes were coming off a seven-game first-round series with the Boston Bruins while the Rangers had won three straight elimination games to oust the Pittsburgh Penguins.

This year, the Rangers won the Presidents’ Trophy in their first season under coach Peter Laviolette, who presided over Carolina’s Stanley Cup championship team in 2006.

New York has had a week off since eliminating the Washington Capitals in its first postseason sweep since 2007. The Rangers scored 15 goals in the series and 10 players scored at least once, including Vincent Trocheck, who was a member of the Hurricanes two seasons ago.

Trocheck scored two of his three goals in the series on the power play and the Rangers scored six times with the man advantage. They scored two power-play goals in last Sunday’s 4-2 clincher at Washington to cap a series where they only trailed for a little over three minutes.

New York took two of three regular-season meetings from Carolina, sandwiching one-goal victories around a 6-1 home defeat on Jan. 2.

“They’re hard to play against,” Rangers center Mika Zibanejad said. “It’s obviously a challenge, but at the same time, I think we have to just work for each other and try to win when you’re one-on-one, not just on the puck but off the puck as well.”

Although Carolina ousted the New York Islanders in five games in their first-round series, they needed three goals in the final 2:15 of the third period of Game 2 and netted the tie-breaking goal in the third to win Game 1.

Carolina ended the series on home ice Tuesday with a dominant showing in Game 5, scoring three times in the first period of a 6-3 win.

“I think we can play a little better,” Carolina’s Jake Guentzel told reporters this week. “We still got the wins, but for us, it’s about imposing our will and getting on the forecheck to create some more offensive zone time. That’s when we’re at our best.”

Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov scored in the opening 3:13 before Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on a penalty shot.

Guentzel contributed one goal and three assists as one of seven Hurricanes to finish with at least four points in the series.

Frederik Andersen posted a 2.25 goals-against average in the first round after being limited to 16 games in the regular season with a blood clotting issue. He missed the 2022 series against the Rangers due to injury.

–Field Level Media

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