Rangers crush Canes 6-2 in deciding Game 7

Tuesday, May 31, 2022
New York Rangers' Mika Zibanejad, left, congratulates Chris Kreider (20) on his goal behind Carolina Hurricanes' Brett Pesce (22) during Game 7 on Monday night in Raleigh.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes' home-ice magic ran out Monday night and with it went their run at the Stanley Cup.

The New York Rangers jumped out to a quick 2-0 first-period lead and cruised to a 6-2 win in the deciding Game 7 of the teams' NHL Playoffs second-round series.

Undefeated at PNC Arena throughout the playoffs, the Hurricanes' inability to capitalize on power-play chances finally caught up to them at a defining moment.

Carolina had three power-play chances through the first two periods but failed to score.

Adding insult to injury, the resilient Rangers scored both early goals on power plays.

Those first-period goals by Chris Kreider and Adam Fox gave New York all the cushion it would need.

The Rangers' Igor Shesterkin - a finalist for both the Vezina Trophy for the league's top goalie and Hart Trophy for the most valuable player - finished with 36 saves and carried the shutout well into the third period. That included one stop from flat on his back on Sebastian Aho near the right post. Shesterkin snagged the puck between his legs, flailing as if trying to make a snow angel late in the first period.

The Carolina Hurricanes have the home-ice advantage with the flawless record when playing in front of their rowdy home crowd.

The Hurricanes were slowed by losing goaltender Antti Raanta and top-line rookie forward Seth Jarvis to injury. Jarvis took a jarring high hit in the first period and Raanta went down with a lower-body injury while stretching out his right leg for a stop in the second. Neither returned to the game.

Raanta had 16 saves before his injury, while rookie Pyotr Kochetkov allowed three goals on 12 shots in relief.

The Rangers won a fifth straight elimination game in these playoffs in what became an unexpected rout, with Andrew Copp adding a late empty-netter. The Rangers' win came in an arena where the Hurricanes had gone 7-0 in the playoffs, including the first three meetings in this series.

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.

Instead, the Rangers improved to 9-0 all-time when leading through two periods in the playoffs.

Tony DeAngelo scored at the 8:11 mark of the third period to give the Hurricanes some brief hope, but that was quickly extinguished as Filip Chytil answered just 40 seconds later to push the margin back to four.

Max Domi scored a late second goal for the Hurricanes.

The Rangers move on to face the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.