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Rangers beat Hurricanes 5-2 to force Game 7


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Igor Shesterkin stopped 37 shots and became the fifth goalie in NHL history to get two assists in a playoff game, Filip Chytil scored two second-period goals and the New York Rangers beat the Hurricanes of Carolina 5-2 on Saturday night to force a decisive game. 7 in their second-round series.

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

New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) celebrates after scoring against Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta in the second period of Game 6 of a second-round Stanley Cup playoff series in Hockey the NHL, Saturday, May 28, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
((AP Photo/John Minchillo))

Shesterkin had assists on Zibanejad’s first-half goal and Chytil’s second-half goal to give him three assists in 13 playoff games.

New York hasn’t lost at home since a three-overtime loss to Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the first round. The Rangers won their fourth consecutive playoff game, including Games 5, 6 and 7 against the Penguins.

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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 the playoffs — to go along with a 7-0 mark at home.

Antti Raanta was retired after allowing three goals on 13 shots. Pyotr Kochetkov came on and finished with 10 saves.

Rangers beat Hurricanes 5-2 to force Game 7

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save against Carolina Hurricanes center Seth Jarvis (24) in the second period of Game 6 of a second round playoff series. Stanley Cup of NHL hockey, Saturday, May 28, 2022, in New York City. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
((AP Photo/John Minchillo))

Game 7 returns to Raleigh, North Carolina on Monday night. The winner will open the Eastern Conference Finals at home against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night.

After the first five games of the series were dominated by solid defensive play, infractions flared up in this one, with both teams scoring multiple goals in the same game for the first time.

Leading 4-2, the Rangers had a 5-on-3 power play for nearly a minute early in the third period. Panarin, fresh from the penalty area himself, made it 5-2 when he received a pass from Chris Kreider between the circles and fired a shot past Kochetkov at 7:43. It was his fourth of the playoffs and the first since the overtime series winner in Game 7 of the first round against Pittsburgh.

Rangers led 2-0 after 20 minutes and added more early in the second period. Chytil collected the puck from Fox, skated to the right side and beat Raanta from the right circle. This ended Raanta’s night as he was replaced by Kochetkov.

Skjei fired a shot past Shesterkin for his fifth career playoff goal and first this year to put the Hurricanes on the scoreboard at 5:05. It came on Carolina’s 18th shot.

Chytil earned his second of the night and fourth of the playoffs on a backhand past Kochetkov in left-circle traffic at 6:47 to restore Rangers’ three-goal lead.

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Trochek scored on a rebound up front with 7:13 left in the middle of the period to pull Carolina up 4-2.

Kochetkov made a fine pad save on Chytil’s backhand attempt for a hat trick three minutes later.

Rangers beat Hurricanes 5-2 to force Game 7

New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad, second from right, celebrates after scoring against Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta in the first period of Game 6 of a Cup second round playoff NHL Hockey Stanley, Saturday, May 28, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
((AP Photo/John Minchillo))

Shesterkin denied Sebastian Aho on a breakaway at 7:05 into the game, then stopped follow-up shots from Teuvo Teravainen and Aho seconds later to keep the Hurricanes off the scoreboard.

On the other end, Motte gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead by getting the puck back on the ice, skating and beating Raanta from the left circle at 7:22 for his second of the playoffs — and this series.

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With Carolina’s Brendan Smith out for a high bat, Zibanejad extended Rangers’ lead to 2-0 just before the halfway mark. He got a pass from Adam Fox, brought the puck across the blue line, brushed off a defender, skated and shot from the right circle through Raanta’s five holes at 9:51 for his seventh of the playoffs .

It gave the Rangers a power-play goal for the fourth straight game, accomplishing the feat in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

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