Rangers defeat Hurricanes in Game 3, Carolina still leading 2-1
May 23, 2022
The New York Rangers claimed a desperate Game 3 victory over series opponent Carolina Hurricanes after sustaining two consecutive defeats in the previous matchups. New York is still trailing 2-1 behind Carolina following their 3-1 win on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers claimed their desperate win thanks to centerman Mika Zibanejad, who led the team’s offense rather well. The Swedish professional was also accompanied by duo left wingers Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte.
New York’s win in Game 3 had their confidence back up and running. Head coach Gerard Gallant seemed very upset about Carolina’s cheap shot via left winger Max Domi.
“We did not do that when the matches were close. They put their guys out. That’s fine. If they want to play like that, we have the guys who can match them,” Gallant said.
Shesterkin defends Rangers’ net
Zibanejad had solid games ahead of the franchise’s second series with the Hurricanes. While the Swedish professional’s efforts were remarkable, goaltender Igor Shesterkin also had a fair share of stealing the spotlight with his 43 total saves and .977 saves percentage.
Gallant praised the Russian goaltender for his outstanding play. He also praised his men’s amazing defense. The head coach was fully aware Shesterkin’s managed a number of great saves this season and admitted the player is a centerpiece in the Rangers’ lineup.
“We felt like we were going to win the hockey game tonight,” Gallant said. "Our goalie was outstanding in the first half of the game. Made some big, key saves for us, but I thought we played well enough to win.”
Moreover, Shesterkin made a whopping 35 saves in the first period while the Hurricanes racked a total of 17 shots on goals, with 14 missing the net.
“It's a good thing that they (took) so many shots," Shesterkin said via NHL.com. “They really were just trying to shoot from everywhere, trying to feel out the game. But none of those shots were really dangerous.”
Zibanejad leads Rangers to claim victory
New York had the early-game lead via Zibanejad at 11:54 in the first period. The 26-year-old received a cross-ice feed from left winger Artemi Panarin from the left circle. The Swedish’s successful power-play marked the first for the Rangers since their last in Game 1 of the second-round series.
In the second period at 5:55, New York extended their lead to 2-0 as Kreider made his goal from the top of the left circle. It appeared that the Rangers had the game well under their control. Centerman Filip Chytil said the team deserved the win.
“In the first two periods, we played how we wanted to play. In the third period, we didn't back off like the first game and I think the win was deserved,” he said.
Carolina tried to catch up a little over two minutes after Kreider’s goal via left winger Nino Niederreiter. In hope that the Hurricanes could change the tide of the game for themselves, the Rangers added another goal via Motte’s empty-net shot with only 1:23 time remaining in the last period.