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Rangers fail to close out Hurricanes again in 4-1 Game 5 loss as series heads back to Carolina

The Rangers had a chance to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.

But the Hurricanes had other plans and they forced a Game 6 following a 4-1 victory in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden.

Jordan Martinook, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Jordan Staal all had goals for the Hurricanes in the third period. Martin Necas scored an empty-net goal with 3:31 remaining to put the Hurricanes up 4-1.

Jacob Trouba had the only goal for the Rangers, which was during the second period.

Down 1-0 at the end of the second period, the Hurricanes finally looked like the team many expected when the series began. They scored three unanswered goals after Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin was flawless through the first 40 minutes. Shesterkin stopped 24 of 27 shots.

After giving up a goal in the second period, Hurricanes netminder Frederik Andersen was unblemished. He stopped 19 of 20 shots.

The Rangers’ defense, or lack thereof, was a problem throughout the night. Carolina was able to get close to the net without must restentce most of the night. But it just took the Hurricanes until the third period before they were able to break through

Carolina players have been tired of the talk about its special teams unit throughout the series. But power-play issues continued to haunt the Hurricanes in Monday’s game.

On their first power play of the game, the Hurricanes were unable to capitalize, and Trouba scored an unassisted short-handed goal. Carolina was 0 for 3 on power play chances.

Throughout the series, the Hurricanes have only scored one power-play goal in 20 chances. During the regular season, Carolina had the second-best power play (26.9%) and the best penalty kill (86.4%) in the NHL.

But despite another poor night on special teams, the Hurricanes were still able to come away with the win.

Early in the first period, there was a good back-and-forth between the two teams. Also, both Shesterkin and Andersen were sharp. With less than three minutes remaining in the first period, the Hurricanes had an opportunity to get on the board first, but Shesterkin turned the team away after a few good saves at the net.

Despite the Rangers going on a power play late in the first period following an Evgeny Kuznetsov slashing penalty, the score remained scoreless after 20 minutes. Both teams combined to have 18 shots in the first period.

The Rangers received another power play 3:47 into the second period, but they came away empty-handed once again. It wasn’t until the Blueshirt committed a penalty that the team finally got on the scoreboard.

After Jack Roslovic was called for tripping (5:56), Trouba hit a snapshot short-handed goal past Andersen, putting the Rangers up 1-0. The goal was the Rangers’ fourth short-handed goal of the playoffs, the most the team has registered in any postseason since 1991-92.

Rangers winger Will Cuylle was called for tripping with 10 seconds left in the second period. But the Hurricanes couldn’t capitalize on the penalty.

Finally with 3:33 into the third period, the Hurricanes tied the game 1-1 after Jordan Staal got around Rangers defenseman Braden Schneider and used a backhanded shot to get the puck past Shesterkin.

Carolina took a 2-1 lead three minutes later (6:39) after Evgeny Kuznetsov buried the puck following a rebound on a Brady Skjei shot. Following the goal, a frustrated Artemi Panarin slammed his stick up against the glass.

The Hurricanes extended their lead to 3-1 after Jordan Martinook scored his second goal of the playoffs. Necas would scored an empty-net goal that put the Hurricanes up 4-1.

Filip Chytil was unavailable to play in Game 5 and is considered day-to-day. He missed Saturday’s game with an illness, and now, according to sources, he is battling soreness. This is believed to be unrelated to his previous concussion.

Matt Rempe returned to the Rangers lineup with both Chytil and Jonny Brodzinski scratched. Chytil missed Game 4 due to illness and was replaced in the lineup by Brodzinkski.

Game 6 will be played on Thursday at PNC Arena at 7 p.m.


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