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Published Time: 08.05.2024 - 01:05:21 Modified Time: 08.05.2024 - 01:05:21

The tenacious Hurricanes represent a couple steps up in class compared to the Rangers' first-round opponent, the Washington Capitals, and got back to what they do best on Tuesday. That meant using their speed and swarming forecheck to generate long possessions while peppering Blueshirts goalie Igor Shesterkin with shots from all angles. They finished with 42 shots in regulation after being limited to 25 in Sunday's Game 1 loss. Rangers, ny rangers, New York Rangers


The tenacious Hurricanes represent a couple steps up in class compared to the Rangers' first-round opponent, the Washington Capitals, and got back to what they do best on Tuesday. That meant using their speed and swarming forecheck to generate long possessions while peppering Blueshirts goalie Igor Shesterkin with shots from all angles. They finished with 42 shots in regulation after being limited to 25 in Sunday's Game 1 loss.

Carolina was the better team at even strength, showing why it has the reputation as one of the NHL's analytical darlings. Taking three third-period penalties kept the door open for the Rangers, who cashed in on one of the resulting power plays with a Chris Kreider goal that ultimately forced OT. But when the game was played at five-on-five, the Canes had a pretty clear advantage.

Their top line of Jake Guentzel, Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov was in the middle of that effort, with Guentzel scoring a pair of goals on a couple primary assists from Aho.

New York had no answer for that trio on Tuesday. They were the best line for either team, buzzing around the offensive zone and creating one scoring chance after another.

It'll be an especially bitter pill for the Rangers to swallow if Guentzel proves to be a difference-maker in this series. They finished as the runner-up for his services at the trade deadline, unwilling to meet the Pittsburgh Penguins' high demands for the No. 1 target on the market. He was quiet in Game 1, but busted out in a big way in Game 2.

The Blueshirts got off to a fine start, with Alexis Lafrenière registering his first goal of the playoffs on a top-shelf wrister from the left circle to put New York on top, 1-0, at the 10:53 mark of the opening period. The play was sparked by an active forecheck from Alex Wennberg, who sped in to win a puck battle in the corner and create the goal-scoring possession.

The Rangers rode that momentum for a few minutes, holding the volume-shooting Hurricanes without a shot on goal for a span of 5:29. But that drought was suddenly snapped when Guentzel tipped a long slap shot from Aho past Shesterkin to knot the score at 1-1 with 4:53 remaining in the period.

Dmitry Orlov scored on another tip, this one on a feed from former Ranger Brady Skjei, to give Carolina a 2-1 lead with only five seconds to go until first intermission.

That was the first of two goals the Blueshirts would allow in the final two minutes of a period.

It also set the tone for the Canes getting back to their high-octane identity. After being credited with six high-danger scoring chances in the entirety of Game 1, they racked up eight HDCF in the first period of Game 2 alone, according to Natural Stat Trick.

They continued to push for offense in the second period, including a furious sequence that featured six Carolina shots in 31 seconds.

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