After playing over 40+ minutes of perfect hockey, the New York Rangers could not contend with the Carolina Hurricanes’ fury in the third period of game 1. Now down 1-0 in the best-of-seven series, it is time to preview tonight’s game 2 matchup.
Play A Complete Game
In every sense of the word, the Rangers were perfect through the first two periods of game 1 on Wednesday night. They were firing on all cylinders, and more importantly, Igor Shesterkin was dialed in in goal. But, once the Zamboni finished their rounds around the ice for the start of the third period, this game completely turned on its head.
The Hurricanes came out with a fiery start, and it snowballed into the Rangers having to play on their heels for the entirety of the period. There wasn’t much from an offensive standpoint for the Rangers, as they were outshot 7-4 in the third, but it seemed like a vastly more significant difference. The Hurricanes were all over the ice, swarming the puck and causing the Rangers to only dump the puck out of the zone and try to reset on defense.
Suppose the Rangers want to take game 2 away from Carolina and tie up the series, much like they did in round 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. It is going to take a complete game. The “Kid Line” was, once again, incredible in the first game, but it is going to have to be more than them to give the Rangers the win. It will be the top-six forwards to make an impact and blow this game wide open.
The mantra has been “No Quit In New York,” and this team has used it as a war cry. They have battled every possible obstacle. From being down 3-1 against Pittsburgh and then winning each of the three elimination games from behind to now being down 1-0 against the only team that was ahead of them in the Metropolitan standings.
The Rangers have what it takes to keep going in these playoffs. Carolina is a completely different animal than Pittsburgh, but they played their best two periods of hockey in these playoffs against the arguably better team. After the collapse in the third period and overtime, there is no real blame for why the Rangers lost the game. Not on Kaapo Kakko missing the empty net in the second period, which would have made it a 2-0 game, or even Ryan Lindgren deflecting the game-winning goal in overtime, there is no reason to blame any player on this team.
That is the best-case scenario, as they should be able to quickly put it behind them for tonight’s game. The key to getting one back on Carolina is for the Rangers top-six to show up and for Shesterkin to continue what he did from game 1. With those two things alone, we can be looking at a completely different game.
Game 2’s puck drop at PNC Arena in Carolina will be at 8 PM EST, and ESPN will have the national broadcast.