RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) — Vincent Trocheck buried a shorthanded goal, Teuvo Teravainen had a rare power-play score for Carolina and the Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 3-1 Thursday night to take a 3-2 lead in the second-round playoff.
Andrei Svechnikov also scored, beating Igor Shesterkin with a backhand on a breakaway midway through the third period as the Hurricanes protected their Game 5 lead.
It was part of another strong home performance from the Metropolitan Division champions, who improved to 7-0 at home in the playoffs.
The Hurricanes can advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face two-time defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay by winning Game 6 in New York on Saturday, despite being 0-5 behind the PNC Arena so far despite tying for the NHL lead in regular play. -road wins of the season.
The Hurricanes controlled long stretches of play maintaining their aggressive style, finishing with a 34-17 advantage on shots to keep the pressure on Shesterkin while easing the burden of Antti Raanta (16 saves) in the net of the Caroline.
Now Carolina faces the challenge of putting aside a team that has been resilient, even stubborn, in the face of a series deficit. The Rangers rallied from a holeshot 3-1 to beat Pittsburgh in a seven-game first-round series, then lost the first two games to Carolina before battling to a tie at home.
Mika Zibanejad scored a power play goal for New York, earning a faceoff in the first period, then drifting down the left side for the putaway just six seconds off the power play. Shesterkin — a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for the league’s top goaltender and the Hart Trophy for most valuable player — finished with 31 saves against a steady stream of work.
The Hurricanes’ power-play struggles have been going on for two months, with coach Rod Brind’Amour preaching the importance of execution more than any major changes to what had been one of the league’s top 10 units at that point. -the. But things just hadn’t improved, with Carolina entering this game converting just 9 of 89 opportunities (10.1%) since late March.
Still, after a 0-for-9 start in the series, the Hurricanes finally broke through with a quick, clean puck move. Rookie Seth Jarvis sent the puck to Teravainen for left-side storage to beat Shesterkin at 9:47 of the second for the 2-1 lead, scoring Carolina’s first goal with the man advantage since the final minutes of Game 6 in the first-round series win over Boston.
Carolina’s first goal also came on special teams, though it was on a perfectly executed shorthanded run off a turnover from Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. Jordan Staal carried the puck down the left side until Rangers defenseman K’Andre Miller was about to stop a pass, but Staal lifted the puck off the ice and over Miller’s legs for a Trocheck charging down the right side for the 1-0 lead at 12:57 of the first.
Carolina’s seven-game home winning streak is the longest in the playoffs since Chicago won its first seven games in 2014, a streak that ended in the Conference Finals.
Carolina’s seven-game home streak is the longest in franchise history for a single playoff series.
Retired American football great Clint Dempsey sounded the pre-game warning siren for the Hurricanes to take to the ice.
NASCAR driver Harrison Burton sounded the siren for the first intermission, followed by North Carolina State football coach Dave Doeren – whose Wolfpack plays across the parking lot from the PNC Arena at Carter-Finley Stadium – for the second intermission.
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Aaron Beard, The Associated Press