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Chris Kreider’s hat trick leads Rangers past Hurricanes and to Eastern Conference Finals

After two failed attempts to eliminate the Hurricanes, the third time was the charm for the Rangers.

In the third period, Chris Kreider’s three goals gave the Rangers the 5-3 victory over the Hurricanes. With the win, the Rangers won the series, 4-2, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, where they will play either the Bruins or the Panthers.

Vincent Trocheck scored a goal in the second period. Barclay Goodrow scored an empty net goal with less than a minute left to put the game on ice.

Seth Jarvis, Sebastian Aho, and Martin Necas scored goals for the Hurricanes, but it wasn’t enough to avoid elimination.

Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin stopped 33 shots. Hurricanes netminder Frederik Andersen allowed four goals on 23 shots.

The Rangers had two opportunities to end the series in Games 4 and 5, but the Hurricanes staved off elimination. Carolina defeated the Blueshirts, 4-3, in Game 4 in Raleigh and on the road at Madison Square Garden, 4-1, in Game 5.

The Rangers were down 2-1 entering the third period. Four goals, including three by Kreider, were scored in that period, which was the catalyst for the Rangers’ epic comeback victory.

It was a lot of back and forth in the first period. But Carolina went up 1-0 after Necas found the net following a feed from Jordan Martinook.

The Rangers only had three shots on goal during the first period. Conversely, the Hurricanes registered 10 shots against Shesterkin in the opening frame. Carolina also had nine blocked shots.

Just 4:38 into the second period, Jarvis’ score put the Hurricanes up 2-0. It was the team’s second power-play goal of the series. He knocked it through the net after a rebound following a Svechnikov shot.

Less than a minute later (5:29), Trocheck quieted the loud PNC Arena. He tipped in an Artemi Panarin shot, and the Hurricanes’ lead was trimmed to 2-1.

Later in the period, in a 2-on-1 situation in the zone, Aho shot a forehanded shot past Shesterkin, and the Hurricanes went up 3-1.

Still up 3-1 in the second period with a chance to cut the deficit to one goal, Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren’s shot got past Andersen. Still, Martinook drove and pulled the puck off the goal line before it crossed the line.

The Rangers cut the lead to, 3-2, 6:43 into the third period after Kreider jammed a loose puck past Andersen. Kreider’s goal quieted the raucous Hurricanes crowd.

Past the halfway point of the third period, Jordan Stall was sent to the penalty box after he was called for cross-checking. And with 8:06 left in regulation, Kreider tipped in the puck off an Panarin shot that tied the game at three.

Kreider gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead with less than five minutes left in regulation after registering a hat trick, which stunned the Hurricanes fans. Andersen came off the ice to give the Hurricanes an extra attacker, but Goodrow’s empty-net goal put the Rangers up, 5-3.

Filip Chytil missed his third consecutive game after battling an illness before Game 4. He skated with the rest of the Rangers on Tuesday but was scratched from the lineup on Thursday.

Chytil scored 22 goals and 45 points during the 2022-23 season. However, injuries limited him to 10 games during the regular season.


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