Home SPORTS Broadway Blueprint: Extra Special Teams Key Rangers Win in Game 1 vs. Carolina

Broadway Blueprint: Extra Special Teams Key Rangers Win in Game 1 vs. Carolina

by Ohio Digital News

Special teams can spell the difference in a Stanley Cup playoff series and the Rangers continued to follow that Broadway Blueprint.

Two power play goals, combined with a PK that was 5 for 5 led the Rangers to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

In five post season games, the Rangers extra special teams have now scored 8 power play goals and two shorthanded goals, while the PK has now killed off 20 of 22 shorthanded chances.

Mika Zibanejad had two goals and an assist, Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist, Chris Kreider had two power play assists and Artemi Panarin scored the eventual game winner after Carolina had scored early in the third period to make it a one goal game.

The Rangers’ stars shined as the top two lines accounted for all four goals and ten points in total. “I thought Mika was outstanding tonight with his game, I thought everybody played pretty good. The offense and the points just went to those guys and hopefully, they do continue to gain some confidence from that,” Coach Peter Laviolette said

The Rangers earned the home ice advantage as long as they remain in the playoffs and the team fed off the fans’ energy. “Fans were rocking tonight and that obviously is a huge part in getting our emotions into it. Getting our adrenaline going. Credit to them for getting us into it early,” Trocheck said.

Igor Shesterkin made 22 saves and became the third goalie in Rangers franchise history to win the first five playoff games of a post season, joining Dave Kerr in 1937 and Mike Richter in 1994. Carolina goaltender Frederik Andersen stopped 19 shots but looked vulnerable throughout the game.

The Rangers were so efficient on the power play that they scored both goals with just a composite total of 23 seconds with the man advantage against what was the best penalty killing unit in the NHL during the regular season, but is missing a key cog in former Ranger Jesper Fast who is out with a neck injury.

It’s a really good PK that we’re playing against so we have to execute and I thought we did that tonight,” Zivbanejad said. “It’s something that we’re going to have to keep doing if we’re gonna have some success against these guys.”

The Rangers took a 3-1 lead into the third period, but Carolina’s Martin Necas got behind the Rangers defense and beat Shesterkin to make it a one goal game early in the third.

The Hurricanes were pressuring the Rangers in their own zone but Panarin helped the team breathe a sigh of relief with a huge goal to make it a 4-2 game.

It was Panarin’s third game winning goal in this post season as he has carried his success from a career year in the regular season right into the playoffs.

The Rangers’ leading scorer in the regular season took a feed from his linemate, Alexis Lafreniere and was open on the left wing side. Panarin wristed a shot towards the net and it slithered through Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen to give the Rangers a huge two goal lead.

That’s been nothing different than what’s happened through the course of the regular season,” Laviolette said. “He’s been a guy who has led this team offensively. Just the playoffs have now started and he’s just following through from what he did with the regular season.”

The Hurricanes pulled Andersen and Seth Jarvis capped off a furious scrum in front of the net to make it a one goal game with 1:47 remaining.

With a minute remaining, Shesterkin made his best save of the game as he denied Andrei Svechnikov’s slap shot.

Trocheck was called for a delay of game penalty with 40.5 seconds left, but mere seconds later, Svechnikov was called for tripping which took away a bit of their momentum.

From there, the Rangers clamped down and Zibanejad nearly completed a hat trick into the empty net, but it was steered away by Brent Burns at the last minute before it entered the net.

The Rangers came out flying and got the early momentum with the first goal of the game.

Jack Roslovic who has upped his game in the post season, skated behind the net and found Zibanejad who was open in the slot. The Rangers center wasted no time as he snapped one past Andersen for a 1-0 lead 2:46 into the first period.

Every team that plays want to have a good start but I thought we really wanted to have a good start, especially at home, game one,” Zibanejad said. “Been off for a few days here, able to rest and I thought that was noticeable. Guys were excited to play, obviously when we were able to score on our chances early on and get a little bit [mo-mo] momentum, that was good.”

Carolina has quick strike capability and it took them a minute and two seconds to tie the game. Jacob Slavin fired a one timer from the point and it took a weird bounce that went over Shesterkin’s shoulder to tie the game at one.

Both teams had a lot of jump early on, which was a bit unusual for the first game of a playoff series, but the Rangers regained the lead with their first power play goal.

With just over ten minutes left in the first period, former Ranger Tony DeAngelo was given a minor for roughing. Necas originally went to the box but the play was reviewed to see if it was a major penalty on DeAngelo, who appeared to make a head high hit, but it was two minutes and the Rangers did not need close to that amount of time to take the lead.

Nine seconds into the power play, Zibanejad scored his second goal of the game to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

As they did in the series against the Capitals, all five Rangers on the ice touched the puck. Trocheck back handed a pass to Kreider who found Zibanejad wide open in his “office” of the left face off circle and he snapped it past Andersen for his second goal of the game.

The Rangers second power play took 14 seconds to cash in. The puck came to Trocheck down low where he passed it to Zibanejad who put it on net. The puck came loose and Trocheck was able to poke it in with a nifty little back hand to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead after one.

Get possession on the draw, try to make a quick play. [They’re] Very aggressive so you can find open areas where you can,” Trocheck said.

The teams skated through a scoreless second period, setting the stage for the final 20 minutes.

Panarin, who has three goals and 10 points in this year’s playoffs, tied a franchise record set by Jaromir Jagr in 2005-2006 with a combined 124 points in the regular season and the post season.

These teams are evenly matched, and the series will be tightly contested so, even with the home advantage, the Rangers will likely have to win at least one game in Carolina. 

The post Broadway Blueprint: Extra Special Teams Key Rangers Win in Game 1 vs. Carolina appeared first on NY Sports Day.

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