The New York Rangers finally ended their goal drought and picked up their first win of the series in a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The victory helped prevent the Blue Shirts from an 0-3 series hole. It was goals from Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, along with a 43 save effort by Igor Shesterkin that lifted New York to the win.
The Rangers had been 21-10-3 (19-8-3 in the regular season, 2-2 in the playoffs) after a loss this season. Game 4 is set to take place on Tuesday once again at MSG.
It was Zibanejad’s goal at the 11:54 mark that ended the Hurricanes’ 127:59 shutout streak and put the Rangers ahead by one. The Rangers forward first drew a penalty against former Blue Shirt Brady Skjei that set New York up for the power play.
On the man-advantage, Artemi Panarin made a crisp cross-ice pass to Zibanejad, who fired one-timed the puck past Raanta.
New York scored its second goal of the afternoon early in the second period on an impressive shot from Chris Kreider. The Rangers winger started with the puck behind the Hurricanes’ net before skating to the bottom of the faceoff circle and firing a precision shot over Ranta’s glove into the top corner of the goal.
Carolina managed to get one of the goals back less than three minutes later when Nino Niederreiter flung a shot on net that just trickled through Shesterkin and into the net. It was Niederreiter’s fourth goal of the playoffs and cut the Rangers’ lead to 2-1.
Tyler Motte secured the win with an empty-net goal at 18:32 of the third period.
Shesterkin put the lid on the game as he turned away every Carolina shot after the lone Hurricanes goal. Game 3 marked the first time that the Rangers had allowed 30 or more shots in their series against the Hurricanes and the 43 saves were the second most that the young netminder has made in the playoffs this year.
The Blue Shirt netminder set the tone early and came out of his net to make an aggressive save on Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who had a semi-breakaway with the Rangers up by one. Shesterkin was showered with chants of “Igor” throughout the game, which included a show of support after he let up Carolina’s only goal.
For more New York Rangers news, visit AMNY.com
Madison Square Garden has proven to be the Rangers’ lucky charm this postseason, having won all but one game there thus far and now carry a four-game-home winning streak in the playoffs. It marks the 12th time in franchise history that they’ve won four or more consecutive home playoff games and the fifth time in the last 25 years.
New York had already won two of their last four regular-season meetings with the Canes at MSG and were 18-3-0 in their last 21 regular-season home games against Carolina. Sunday marked the first time Carolina and New York have played a postseason contest at MSG and Ranger fans greeted former defenseman Tony DeAngelo with boos every time he had touched the puck.