The New York Rangers were completely outplaying the Carolina Hurricanes throughout the first two periods of action in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series and looked like they had a shot to steal home-ice advantage.
Instead, a one-goal lead ended up a loss as the Rangers went just over 10 minutes of the third period without recording a single shot attempt. This reliance on their goaltending opened the door for Carolina to push the game into overtime.
The Hurricanes edged by in the extra frame thanks to defenseman Ian Cole. Carolina remains perfect when playing at home this postseason and looks to keep that record intact in Friday night’s Game 2.
Goaltender Igor Shesterkin was wonderful throughout the entire night in Game 1, ending up with 24 saves and helping shut the door on the Hurricanes for nearly the whole game.
The New York Rangers just weren’t able to take advantage of some opportunities at the offensive end and had an unfortunate series of events in overtime. New York does have some positives to take into Game 2, though.
Coach Gerard Gallant said that he believes it was his team’s “best game of the year” and that “the first two periods was perfect hockey for us.” Even though it was a demoralizing loss, New York shouldn’t get discouraged just yet.
Hurricanes Didn’t Give Up
The Carolina Hurricanes didn’t look like themselves at the start of Game 1. They were just a step behind the Rangers and a lot of their opportunities to score weren’t exactly threatening.
After more than 50 minutes of trailing in this game, the Hurricanes found a way to score on a goal from Sebastian Aho. They should have more juice in their skates in Game 2 as they looked flat-footed in Game 1.
Knowing that they were thoroughly outplayed throughout the first two periods and yet still pulled away with the home win has to give the Hurricanes some relief.
However, the work obviously isn’t done. This level of play won’t help them win the series – even though they got somewhat lucky here. If Carolina improves from Game 1, watch out.
Rangers vs Hurricanes Head-to-Head
The Hurricanes are 4-1 against the Rangers this season following the victory in Game 1. We’ll see if they can continue their dominance in Game 2.
Carolina is posted as the favorite in the sportsbook for Game 2. This is bound to be another incredibly close game with each team playing the other very well.
New York proved that they can shut down the Hurricanes’ offense, though the Rangers have been unable to do it the entire time.
Carolina looks like an obvious favorite versus the NHL odds due to playing at home again, but the Rangers could be a sly underdog considering how good they were last game. Take them for an upset to split the series.
Derrick Erickson has been entrenched in sports media over the last decade. From working in fantasy sports to the sports betting side of things, he's been plugged in for quite some time. His favorite teams include the Texas Longhorns, Dallas Cowboys, and Dallas Mavericks.