Posts Tagged ‘Carolina Hurricanes’

Carolina Hurricanes starting goaltender Frederik Andersen didn’t suit up for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs due to an MCL tear, he told reporters Wednesday.

Andersen added there was a chance he could have played in the Eastern Conference Final had the Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers in Game 7.

“Yeah, I was getting real close. Obviously adds to the bitterness and frustration about losing,” he said. “Very disappointing not being able to play and being that close.”

He added: “It’s an injury that’s really tough on goalies, given the positions we’re in.”

Andersen said he doesn’t think the issue will require surgery. He sustained the injury on April 16 against the Colorado Avalanche when he awkwardly fell.

The 32-year-old was sensational for the Hurricanes in the regular season, authoring a .922 save percentage and 2.17 goals-against average across 52 appearances. Andersen and tandem partner Antti Raanta took home the William M. Jennings Trophy after allowing the fewest goals against this campaign.

Andersen also didn’t play during the 2021 postseason as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He owns a .916 save percentage and 2.55 goals-against average in 53 career playoff appearances.

Raanta took over the postseason starting duties for the Hurricanes in Andersen’s absence, and he held down the fort with a .922 save percentage in 13 games. Raanta suffered an injury during Carolina’s season-ending Game 7 loss to the Rangers on Monday.

Andersen has one year remaining on his deal and carries a $4.5-million cap hit.

Nothing is fazing these New York Rangers, not multi-game series deficit nor playing in a building where no road team has won in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Instead, this resilient bunch is carrying an ever-growing confidence straight into the Eastern Conference finals, thanks to another Game 7 win and the latest strong performance from possibly the game’s best goaltender.

Chris Kreider scored twice, Igor Shesterkin was strong in net again and the Rangers ended Carolina’s perfect postseason run at home, beating the Hurricanes 6-2 in the decisive Game 7 of their second-round playoff series Monday night.

Kreider and Adam Fox had first-period power-play goals as the Rangers raced to a quick lead. The Rangers then rode Shesterkin’s latest offense-stymieing performance to win a fifth straight elimination game win in these playoffs.

“Backs against the wall five times now,” Fox said, “and we’ve come through all five.”

Shesterkin — a finalist for both the Vezina Trophy for the league’s top goalie and Hart Trophy for most valuable player — finished with 36 saves and carried the shutout well into the third period.

Now the Rangers are off to a conference final for the first time since 2015, earning a matchup with two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay. New York will host Game 1 of that series Wednesday night.

Ryan Strome and Filip Chytil also scored in what became an unexpected rout, with Andrew Copp adding a late empty-netter. More impressively, the Rangers’ win came in an arena where the Hurricanes had gone 7-0 in the playoffs, including a Game 7 victory to beat Boston in the first round and three meetings in this series.

New York coach Gerard Gallant said Sunday he had a group of players who “have a lot of fun and they believe in themselves.” They looked as if they were doing plenty of both Monday in capping a second straight comeback win from a multi-game deficit.

First, they rallied from a 3-1 down to beat Pittsburgh in a seven-game series. Then, after falling in an 0-2 hole against Carolina, New York responded with more resilience, even a stubborn refusal to fade out when down.

Kreider went as far as to throw in a comparison to “cockroaches.”

“We don’t go away, regardless of the score, regardless of where our game is at,” Kreider said.

There were no questions about that Monday night, particularly with Shesterkin holding up against 17 first-period shots. That included one stop from flat on his back on Sebastian Aho near the right post, with Shesterkin snagging the puck between his legs flailing, as if trying to make a snow angel late in the first period.

The Rangers also helped by blocking 25 shots in front of him.

“You’ve got to pay a price to win games in this league, especially against real good teams like that,” Gallant said. ” I love the way our guys are competing and battling. I’ve said 100 times this year, we’re not perfect but we find ways to win.”

Tony DeAngelo finally beat Shesterkin midway through the third period, only to see the Rangers follow with Chytil’s goal just 40 seconds later to push the margin to 5-1.

Max Domi also scored a late goal for the Hurricanes.

But Carolina lost top-line rookie forward Seth Jarvis to a first-period injury after a jarring high hit from Jacob Trouba, and then lost goaltender Antti Raanta to an apparent right-leg injury in the second period in an all-around rough night. Raanta had 16 saves before his injury, while rookie Pyotr Kochetkov allowed three goals on 12 shots in relief.

“Tonight was kind of just some bounces, everyone wasn’t quite there, including myself,” Carolina captain Jordan Staal said. “An unfortunate way to end the series — season.”

Carolina’s playoff success had leaned on its home-ice advantage, backed by a rowdy crowd. But its inability to win a single road game in the postseason only shrunk the Hurricanes’ margin for error and turned winning at home into an absolute necessity to keep playing.

As a result, the first and only home stumble proved fatal, a crushing end to a season that saw the division winner, with the third-best record in the NHL, set franchise records for regular-season wins (54) and points (116) with aspirations of winning its second Cup.

“It’s definitely a bummer to have the team — the caliber of team — that we did,” Carolina defenseman Jaccob Slavin said, “and not go farther.”

NO FIRSTS

The Hurricanes were 6-0 in Game 7s since the former Hartford Whalers relocated to North Carolina in 1997. They were trying to become the first team in NHL history to win seven straight Game 7s.

Carolina was also trying to become the first to win multiple best-of-seven series in the same postseason with zero road wins.

ELIMINATION-GAME PRODUCTION

When Fox scored and assisted on Kreider’s first goal, that pushed him to 10 points in elimination games during this postseason.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, that marks the most by a defenseman in a single postseason, surpassing Ray Bourque in 1980, Ian Turnbull in 1976 and Denis Potvin in 1975.

INJURED CANES

Jarvis was knocked from the game on Trouba’s hit, which sent him sprawling to the ice and left him able only to crawl back to the bench. When he made it there, he was too wobbly to sit on the bench and needed assistance from teammates to get directed into the locker room.

Making matters worse, the Hurricanes took a penalty for too many men on the ice while trying to sub for Jarvis, leading to Kreider’s first goal.

Ranta went down with 4:23 left in the second period when he extended his right leg in a split to make a stop on Mika Zibanejad. He almost went forward and landed face down on the ice. He was eventually helped off the ice by teammates Vincent Trocheck and Nino Niederreiter, not putting any weight on his right leg.

Afterward, coach Rod Brind’Amour said Raanta’s injury would have prevented him from playing the next series, had Carolina won.

Filip Chytil scored twice in the second period and the New York Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Saturday night to force a deciding Game 7 in their second-round playoff series.

Tyler Motte and Mika Zibanejad scored in the first period to get New York started, Artemi Panarin tallied in the third and Adam Fox had two assists to help the Rangers set a franchise record with their sixth straight home win this postseason.

Igor Shesterkin stopped 37 shots for New York, which has not lost at home since a three-OT defeat to Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the first round. The Rangers won their fourth straight elimination game, including Games 5, 6 and 7 against the Penguins.

Brady Skjei had a goal and an assist, and Vincent Trochek also scored for the Hurricanes. Carolina fell to 0-6 on the road this postseason — becoming the first team in NHL history to lose its first six road games in a postseason — to go along with a 7-0 mark at home.

Antti Raanta was pulled after giving up three goals on 13 shots. Pyotr Kochetkov came on and finished with 10 saves.

Game 7 is back in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Monday night. The winner will open the Eastern Conference finals at home against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.

The Carolina Hurricanes controlled long stretches of play, stayed aggressive, and even got a breakthrough in a two-month struggle on the power play.

It was enough to secure another home playoff victory. Now they can turn their attention to trying to put away the New York Rangers, too.

Vincent Trocheck buried a shorthanded goal, Teuvo Teravainen had a rare power-play score and the Hurricanes beat the Rangers 3-1 on Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the second-round series.

It was part of yet another strong home performance for the Metropolitan Division champions, who improved to 7-0 at home in the postseason.

“It was kind of the game that I’ve been waiting for,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’ve been playing OK, but tonight was good all the way around — more obviously how we want to play.”

Andrei Svechnikov also scored, beating Igor Shesterkin with a backhander on a breakaway midway through the third period as the Hurricanes protected their Game 5 lead.

The Hurricanes can advance to the Eastern Conference Final to face reigning the two-time Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay Lightning by winning Game 6 in New York on Saturday, though they are 0-5 away from PNC Arena so far despite tying for the NHL lead in regular-season road wins.

Now Carolina faces the challenge of putting away a team that has been resilient, even stubborn, when facing a series deficit. The Rangers rallied from a 3-1 hole to beat Pittsburgh in a seven-game first-round series, then lost the first two games against Carolina before fighting back to even at home.

“The way I look at it, we’ve played a lot of must-win games lately, and we’ve done a pretty good job,” said New York’s Ryan Strome, who had a second-period goal negated by a successful offsides challenge from Carolina.

“We’ve played some desperate hockey. … We seem to like being in this position a little bit.”

The Hurricanes sustained their aggressive style while giving the Rangers little room to operate, finishing with a 34-17 shot advantage to keep the pressure on Shesterkin while also easing the burden on Antti Raanta (16 saves) in Carolina’s net.

Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal for New York, winning a first-period faceoff and then drifting to the left side for the putaway just six seconds into the man advantage. Shesterkin — a finalist for both the Vezina Trophy for the league’s top goalie and Hart Trophy for most valuable player — finished with 31 saves against a steady stream of work.

POWER PLAY

Carolina had been just 9 of 89 (10.1%) on the power play since late March. Yet after an 0-for-9 start in the series, the Hurricanes finally broke through with quick and crisp puck movement.

Rookie Seth Jarvis — who left briefly in the second with a bleeding mouth after being hit by Strome’s follow-through on a shot — zipped the puck to Teravainen for the left-side putaway to beat Shesterkin at 9:47 of the second for the 2-1 lead. It marked Carolina’s first goal with the man advantage since the final minutes of Game 6 in the first-round win against Boston.

“We had just kind of talked after the last game,” Teravainen said. “Just reset and start over and just we don’t have to think too much (of what’s) behind, keep thinking what’s going forward.”

ANOTHER SHORTIE

Carolina’s first goal came on special teams, too, though this on a perfectly executed short-handed rush off a turnover.

Jordan Staal carried the puck on the left side until Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller laid out to stop a pass, but Staal lifted the puck off the ice and over Miller’s legs to a charging-in Trocheck on the right side for the 1-0 lead at 12:57 of the first.

“The pass that Jordan made was incredible,” Trocheck said.

Carolina, which had a short-handed goal from defenseman Brendan Smith in the Game 2 win, has two short-handed goals in the same postseason series for the first time since 1992.

NEGATED

Strome appeared to have given the Rangers a 2-1 lead just five minutes into the second when he collected his own entry pass on the boards and beat Raanta. But on the review, linemate Andrew Copp was clearly across the blue line as he tried to tag back up.

“It definitely sucks, but that’s the way it goes,” Strome said. “It’s a rule. It’s cut and dry. It happens.”

LONG RUN

Carolina’s seven-game home winning streak is the longest in a postseason since Chicago won its first seven games in 2014, a run that ended in the conference finals.

SIREN SOUNDERS

Retired American soccer great Clint Dempsey sounded the pregame “storm warning” siren for the Hurricanes to take the ice.

NASCAR driver Harrison Burton sounded the siren for the first intermission, followed by North Carolina State football coach Dave Doeren — whose Wolfpack play across the parking lot from PNC Arena in Carter-Finley Stadium — for the second intermission.

The New York Rangers got the kind of strong, all-around effort from the start they needed and stormed past the Carolina Hurricanes.

Andrew Copp had a goal and two assists, and Frank Vatrano and Adam Fox each had a goal and an assist as the Rangers beat the Hurricanes 4-1 in Game 4 Tuesday night, evening the second-round series.

Mika Zibanejad also scored, Ryan Lindgren had two assists and Igor Shesterkin stopped 30 shots for the Rangers, who won their fifth straight at home in the postseason. In the series, New York won two at home after opening with two losses at Carolina.

“Everyone’s kind of contributing and has been over the course of the playoffs,” Copp said. “It’s not just one line, one D-pairing, it’s throughout the lineup. … Just trying to build off some of the momentum we’ve created these last two games.”

The Rangers have won two straight against the Hurricanes after losing eight of the previous nine meetings, including a three-game sweep in the qualifying round of the 2020 playoff bubble and three of four in the regular season.

“We’re confident,” Copp said. “We get two games where we win, we play well, we give up two goals total. Now the reverse of the talk of you guys is on them now. We just got to kind of block all that out and stay with our game. Guys are feeling better about themselves and we got to ride this momentum into Carolina.”

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant liked what he saw from his team, calling it ‘close’ to one of the most complete games by his team this postseason.

“We had a little bit of a letdown in part of the second and little bit in the third, too,” he said. “But for the most part we did a real good job.”

Teuvo Teravainen scored and Antti Raanta finished with 24 saves for the Hurricanes, who fell to 0-5 on the road in the postseason to go along with their 6-0 mark at home.

Carolina has scored just six goals in the series, including one in each of the last two games. The Hurricanes were 0 for 2 on the power play to fall to 0 for 9 against the Rangers.

“I am confident eventually they are going to find their way to the back of the net,” Carolina’s Sebastian Aho said. “We just have to find ways to score. We got to score on the power play.”

Game 5 is in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Thursday night, and Game 6 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Teravainen spoiled Shesterkin’s shutout bid when he scored his third of the playoffs at 6:33 of the third, pulling the Hurricanes within 3-1. However, Copp scored from the right side with just under nine minutes remaining.

There was more pushing and shoving between players in the closing seconds of the game, with the Rangers’ Ryan Reaves and Carolina’s Max Domi being separated by officials as they exchanged words.

Trailing 2-0, Carolina got its first power play midway through the second period, but couldn’t convert. About a minute into the Hurricanes’ advantage, the Rangers had a 2-on-1, short-handed chance but Raanta made a sprawling save on Zibanejad.

The Rangers pushed their lead to 3-0 with 3:12 left in the middle period as Lindgren fired a shot that Raanta stopped. However, as the puck trickled through his pads, Zibanejad swooped in behind him and knocked it in for his fifth of the playoffs.

Shesterkin made a spectacular glove save going from right to left on Brett Pesce 1:20 into the game on the Hurricanes’ first shot on goal, drawing a big roar from the home crowd that was buzzing even before the puck drop.

The Rangers were unhappy with a fight that broke out at the end of Game 3 on Sunday between Lindgren and Domi. New York coach Gerard Gallant was also seen yelling at Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo.

In this one, Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba delivered a hard hit on Domi along the side boards as the Hurricanes forward was falling to the ice. Carolina’s Steven Lorentz skated into Trouba and the two dropped gloves with less than 8 1/2 minutes left in the first. Lorentz drew a 10-minute misconduct and a minor for instigating in addition to the fighting majors he and Trouba received.

Vatrano took advantage as he fired a one-timer off a pass from Copp past Raanta with 6:29 left. It was his third of the playoffs.

Fox made it 2-0 just 2:11 later as he deflected a shot by Lindgren from the top of the left circle past Raanta.

Minutes later, DeAngelo — the target of several derisive chants from Rangers fans in the opening period — and Reaves were separated as they were jawing at each other.

RECORDS

The Rangers’ five straight home playoff wins matched a franchise record accomplished four times previously. The last was during their Stanley Cup championship run in 1994.

CLIMBING LISTS

Aho got his 26th career postseason assist, breaking a tie with Ron Francis for the most in franchise history. His 44th postseason point moved him past Eric Staal into sole possession of the top of the franchise scoring list. … Teravainen got his 19th goal to move past Francis into sole possession of fifth place in franchise playoff history. His 42nd point tied Kevin Dineen for the fifth-most points in franchise playoff history.

After two tough losses on the road put them in another series deficit, the New York Rangers again bounced back with a big home win.

Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin stopped 43 shots, and the Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 Sunday in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

“It was a tight battle again,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “Igor was outstanding for us, and that was they key. … We defended pretty good and guys did the right thing with the puck.”

Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte also scored as the Rangers cut their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven matchup. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

“It’s a terrific environment … so much energy throughout the entire game,” Kreider said. “It’s easy to feed off the energy the crowd brings.”

It was just New York’s second win against Carolina in the teams’ last 10 meetings, dating to the qualifying round of the 2020 playoffs in the bubble in Toronto. The Hurricanes swept that best-of-five series in three games and won three of four in the regular season.

The Rangers, who came back from a 3-1 series deficit in the first round against Pittsburgh, improved to 4-1 at home. They got a much-needed win against the Hurricanes after losing 2-1 in OT in Game 1 and 2-0 in Game 2.

“I liked the way we battled in those two games in Carolina,” Gallant said. “We felt like we were going to win the hockey game. Our goalie was outstanding in the first half of the game and made some big key saves for us. I thought we played well enough to win.”

Nino Niederreiter scored for Carolina, and Antti Raanta finished with 30 saves. The Hurricanes, 6-0 at home, dropped to 0-4 on the road this postseason.

“We definitely had our opportunities to win,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It felt good the way we were going. We couldn’t get pucks through the net.”

The Hurricanes were 0 for 3 on the power play, falling to 0 for 7 in this series. The Rangers were 1 for 2 and are now 1 for 7.

“We have to find a way just to bear down when we have the chances,” Niederreiter said. “Our penalty-kill is, for the most part, terrific. The power play, we just can’t seem to find a way to get a goal.”

Shesterkin had 17 saves in the first period, 17 in the second and nine in the third.

“They were really just trying to shoot from everywhere, feel out the game,” Shesterkin said through an interpreter. “But none of those shots were really that dangerous.”

The Rangers had a 2-on-1 breakaway 5 1/2 minutes into the third period, but Ryan Reaves’ shot from the right side was stopped by Raanta. Motte, who started raising his arms in anticipation of a goal, couldn’t corral the rebound.

Raanta then made a stellar save to deny Kaapo Kakko’s attempt from the right side three minutes later to keep it a one-goal game.

The Hurricanes pulled Raanta for an extra skater with 2 1/2 minutes to go. Less than 30 seconds later, Kreider missed a chance at the empty net, but Motte sealed it with a backhander from the defensive zone with 1:23 remaining.

Kreider pushed the Rangers’ lead to 2-0 as he got the puck from Zibanejad behind the Hurricanes’ net, brought it around to Raanta’s right, and fired a shot past the goalie top shelf from the left circle at 5:55 of the second. It was Kreider’s sixth of the postseason.

Niederreiter got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard 8:18 into the second as he brought the puck up the right side and put a backhander past Shesterkin for his fourth of the playoffs. It was a harmless-looking shot that got past the goalie.

“You miss a goal, you get a little disappointed for a second, you say a few mean words and you forget about it,” said Shesterkin, who improved to 7-1 this year when facing 40 or more shots, including 3-1 in the postseason. His lone loss in such games was Game 1 of the first round against Pittsburgh, when he faced 83 shots in a 4-3 loss in triple overtime.

Zibanejad opened the scoring with the Rangers’ first power-play goal of the series. He got a pass from Artemi Panarin and fired a shot from the left circle past Raanta with 8:06 left in the first for his fourth of the postseason. It was New York’s first goal since early in the first period of Game 1.

SHUFFLING LINES

Looking for a spark, Gallant shuffled lines to start the game. Andrew Copp opened centering a line with Kakko and Frank Vatrano. The second line in was Filip Chytil centering Kreider and Zibanejad. Panarin centered a line with Alexis Lafreniere and Ryan Strome. The fourth line was Kevin Rooney, Motte and Reaves.

Gallant went back to the team’s usual lines to start the third period.

CLIMBING

Kreider’s goal gave him 47 career postseason points, tying Ron Duguay for ninth place in franchise history.

Brendan Smith had gone nine years since last finding the back of the net in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

And Antti Raanta, well, he never had a postseason game like this.

The Carolina Hurricanes keep finding different ways to win in the playoffs. It’s why they’re unbeaten at home, and up 2-0 again in a series.

Smith scored a short-handed goal late in the second period while Raanta had 21 saves for his first postseason shutout to help the Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 2-0 on Friday night, claiming Game 2 of their second-round series.

“I think if we just stick to our style, it’s eventually going to wear on teams and we’re going to find a way to win,” Smith said.

Smith’s goal off a feed from Sebastian Aho was the difference in a tightly defended game by both teams with little space to operate and even fewer traffic-free looks at the net.

Aho added a clinching empty-net score to finish this off with 1.8 seconds left as Raanta held up.

It came two nights after the Hurricanes rallied to tie Game 1 in the final minutes on Aho’s tying third-period goal, then a rare OT score by defenseman Ian Cole. That came after a higher-scoring first-round series against Boston that went the full seven games.

“Teams that are still playing at this time of year, they can adapt to whatever the game is,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.

Now 6-0 at home in the playoffs, Carolina faces the challenge of winning on the road for the first time in the postseason after failing to win a road game against the Bruins.

They’ll get their first chance to win at Madison Square Garden in Game 3 on Sunday. And the Rangers must mount another series comeback after rallying from a 3-1 deficit to beat Pittsburgh in a seven-game first-round series.

“I’m happy with the way we’ve performed overall,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “I wish we would’ve got one of these two games. We probably could’ve, but that’s the way it goes.”

Igor Shesterkin finished with 20 saves to lead the Rangers on a night with few offensive highlights.

The teams combined for 43 shots and each had big penalty kills, with New York killing off more than a minute of 5-on-3 time while the Hurricanes scored their short-handed goal on a 4-minute kill for a double-minor high-sticking penalty on Brady Skjei.

THE WINNER

The Hurricanes had flirted with tallying a short-handed goal earlier in the game multiple times, including once when Teuvo Teravainen pinged the right post in the first period from the slot off a feed from Aho.

It ended up foreshadowing the Hurricanes’ breakthrough score, with Aho skating in on the right side to set up Smith for a one-timer from the left that cleanly zipped past Shesterkin for the putaway with 4:06 left in the second.

LONG TIME

The 33-year-old Smith had two career postseason goals. The last had come May 18, 2013, in Game 2 of Detroit’s seven-game second-round series loss to Chicago.

STEADY

This was Raanta’s 13th career playoff game, and marked his first keeping the net clear. It helped, too, that Carolina finished with 24 blocked shots, five coming from defenseman Brett Pesce.

“I didn’t feel like I needed to do that many huge saves or like that,” Raanta said. ‘All the guys were making sure there was no backdoor plays or easy shots. … The guys helped me a lot for sure.”

LOW OUTPUT

The Rangers have managed one goal in the first two games, with the lone score coming off a neutral-zone turnover at the 7:07 mark of Game 1.

It hadn’t helped that offensive stars Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider haven’t gotten going. They’ve combined for seven shots on goal through two games.

“Get more pucks to the net, more bodies to the net, more traffic, create your own luck, create your own bounces,” defenseman Jacob Trouba said. “I think that’s got to be a little more of our mindset.”

CHANGING LOOKS

Brind’Amour tweaked his lines a bit looking for a spark in the Game 1 comeback, then stuck with that look for Game 2.

Most notably, Teravainen moved up to the top line to play alongside Aho and rookie Seth Jarvis, while Andrei Svechnikov moved to the second line. Brind’Amour also moved up speedy skater Martin Necas to the second line and bumped Max Domi — the Game 7 hero against Boston — down to the fourth line.

The Rangers stayed with the same line pairings to start this one, though Gallant eventually moved Alexis Lafrenière up to the second line alongside Panarin and Ryan Strome in the third.

“I’m trying to get a goal,” Gallant said.

HOME COMFORT

The Hurricanes’ 6-0 home playoff record marks the first time an NHL team has won its first six postseason home games since Nashville in 2017. It also marks the franchise’s longest home winning streak in a single postseason.

Sebastian Aho extended the game. Ian Cole ended it. And that allowed the Carolina Hurricanes to escape their first home loss of the playoffs despite being completely outplayed most of the night.

Cole beat Igor Shesterkin at 3:12 of overtime to help the Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 2-1 Wednesday night, making a late rally to win Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.

Aho had forced the extra period when he pushed one past Shesterkin late in the third period in a dramatic finish. Yet it overshadowed the fact that the Metropolitan Division winners were fortunate to win after the Rangers controlled the first 40 minutes.

“Kudos to our guys, they got it going in, it certainly was a good third period,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’re not going to get away with that, not playing two periods and expect to win a game — especially at this time of year against that team.”

The Hurricanes won home-ice by securing the division title with a win against the Rangers in Madison Square Garden in the final week of the regular season. They nearly handed it over but instead will seek a sixth straight win here when they host Game 2 on Friday night.

Cole’s rebound winner clipped the stick of Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren, with the puck changing direction before slipping past Shesterkin.

“I was looking to pass it to someone,” Cole said. “And no one was really kind of anywhere dangerous. So I was like, ‘Well, I guess I’ll throw it on net and see what happens.’”

“Hockey’s a game of weird bounces and it happened to go in. Not the prettiest, but we’ll take it.”

The score capped Carolina’s late comeback, which began with the Hurricanes showing more urgency and aggression coming out of the second intermission.

Carolina also got a key effort from Antti Raanta, who had 27 saves and helped the Hurricanes hang around until their attack finally took its familiar form.

“They put a big push on in the third period in the first 10 minutes, and we weathered that storm,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “But the first two periods was perfect hockey for us. … I thought it was our best game of the year, I really did.”

Filip Chytil scored the first-period goal for the Rangers, while Shesterkin finished with 24 saves.

Both teams advanced through grueling seven-game first-round series, first with Carolina finally getting past Boston on Saturday followed by New York rallying past Pittsburgh in overtime a day later.

The Hurricanes never trailed in that series nor in their four home wins. The Rangers had to rally from a 3-1 series deficit, which included Shesterkin — finalist for the Vezina Trophy for league’s top goalie and Hart Trophy for league MVP — bouncing back from surrendering 10 goals in Games 3 and 4.

Yet when this one started, it was the Hurricanes who looked a step slow while the Rangers gave up few quality chances. New York was also opportunistic at the perfect moment early.

As defenseman Tony DeAngelo tried to send the puck back to teammate Jaccob Slavin for a reset, Rangers forward Alexis Lafrenière stole the pass to lead a 3-on-2 rush. Lafrenière passed to Chytil, who one-timed the puck from the right side past the extended stick of Slavin and Raanta at 7:07 of the first.

That lone-goal lead held up for more than 50 minutes. It helped too that the Hurricanes twice pinged the crossbar in the third, first on a breakaway by Nino Niederreiter and later from Aho in what appeared to be confirmation that it wasn’t their night.

Instead, Aho followed by taking a feed from rookie Seth Jarvis and then going to his backhand side. Shesterkin made the initial stop, but Aho knocked the rebound across for the tying score with 2:23 left and set up Cole’s winner.

“We wanted to win but we get a chance again on Friday to try to get the split and go home,” center Mika Zibanejad said.

STOPPED SKID

Carolina stopped a three-game home losing streak in the second round of the playoffs. They lost all three games despite having home-ice advantage in a five-game series loss to eventual two-time champion Tampa Bay last year.

POSTSEASON WORK

Both of Chytil’s postseason goals have come in the last four games as the Rangers erased their first-round series deficit and advanced. Lafrenière has three assists in his first postseason.

Carolina’s Teuvo Teravainen assisted on Aho’s tying goal for his sixth helper of the playoffs, while Jarvis also posted his third assist.

Max Domi scored twice in the second period while Antti Raanta had 27 saves to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 on Saturday to win the deciding Game 7 of their first-round playoff series.

Teuvo Teravainen also scored for the Hurricanes, who finally put away a Bruins team that had ousted them from the playoffs in two of the past three postseasons. That ended a series in which neither team could manage a road win, with the Hurricanes eventually getting the final word backed by yet another rowdy and loud home crowd.

Carolina advanced to the second round to face the winner of Sunday’s Game 7 between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Domi was an unlikely star in this one. Carolina acquired him ahead of the March trade deadline, and he rewarded them by scoring the first postseason goals of his career. He also assisted on Teravainen’s goal with a perfect pass to the top of the crease for the first-period putaway.

Raanta, who had never started a postseason game before this series, was again steady in net. He had probably his best stop on a full-split save to deny Taylor Hall near the left post in the first period of a scoreless game.

Jake DeBrusk scored a second-period goal for the Bruins, while David Pastrnak had one with 21.7 seconds left with Boston having pulled Jeremy Swayman for the extra attacker.

From there, the Hurricanes had to hang on through one final clock-killing shift to protect the lead before they could finally celebrate.

Swayman finished with 28 saves for Boston.

The Bruins found themselves playing catch-up after Domi’s first goal, which had him skating in on the left side to bury a redirect attempt from Jordan Staal at 3:14 of the second.

Later, after DeBrusk had beaten Raanta from the top of the crease, Teravainen whipped a pass to Domi for a one-timer that blasted the puck past Swayman at 10:33 of the second for the 3-1 lead.

The Bruins, a tested veteran squad, were in the playoffs for the sixth straight season. That run included a sweep of the Hurricanes in the 2019 Eastern Conference finals, as well as a five-game win in the first round of the Toronto bubble a year later.

This time, the Hurricanes never trailed in the series before finally grinding through after dominating the Bruins in three regular-season meetings. And the Bruins head into an offseason with some uncertainty about the future of captain and longtime No. 1 center Patrice Bergeron, who can become an unrestricted free agent after 18 seasons with the team.

SIX STRAIGHT

The Hurricanes improved to 6-0 in Game 7s since the former Hartford Whalers relocated to North Carolina in 1997. That includes the 2006 Stanley Cup finals against Edmonton, as well as a second-round series win on the road at Boston in 2009.

EARLY EXIT

This marks the first time Boston exited from the playoffs without winning a series since falling in a six-game series to Ottawa in 2017.

PACKED HOUSE

The Hurricanes had their biggest home crowd in franchise history for this one with an attendance of 19,513. That surpassed the previous mark of 19,495, set during the final win in a second-round sweep of the New York Islanders in 2019.

The Boston Bruins staved off elimination with a 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 on Thursday night.

Brad MarchandCharlie Coyle, and Tomas Nosek each had two points while Derek ForbortErik Haula, and Curtis Lazar each chipped in a goal. Andrei Svechnikov scored both of Carolina’s goals.

Jeremy Swayman stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced, while Antti Raanta allowed four goals on 32 shots.

The series now shifts back to Carolina for the decisive Game 7 set for Saturday.