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Hurricanes eliminated by Rangers following third period collapse in Game 6

May 17, 2024, 11:00 PM ET [1 Comments]
Ben Shelley
Carolina Hurricanes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT




The Carolina Hurricanes’ season came to an end last night, falling 5-3 to the New York Rangers in Game 6 of their second round series.


Carolina opened the game with a pretty decent first frame, outshooting the Rangers 8-3. Then near the tail end of the period, Martin Necas took a pass from behind the net and managed to beat Igor Shesterkin, giving the Hurricanes a lead through 20 minutes.

Then after some 4-on-4 time early in the second period, Carolina ended up with a shortened power play after their penalty expired, and actually managed to take advantage, when a shot got through Shesterkin, and Seth Jarvis buried the loose puck to extend the lead.

New York did get one back under a minute later, though: Dmitry Orlov threw the puck right to Artemi Panarin, who one-timed a shot on net, being tipped in by Vincent Trocheck as Frederik Andersen was falling over. However, the Hurricanes did quickly reinstate the two-goal lead a little later, when Sebastian Aho ended up with the puck on a 2-on-1, and roofed a shot to beat Shesterkin, making it a 3-1 game.



The Rangers did come inches away from cutting the lead in half again shortly after, when Ryan Lindgren put a puck through Andersen on a breakaway, but Jordan Martinook dove to sweep the puck off the goal line, preserving Carolina’s two-goal lead through two periods.

Then early in the third period, both Martinook and Jake Guentzel had great chances to pad the lead within the first five minutes, but each rang a shot off the post. From there, the game took a turn.

About seven minutes into the frame, Mika Zibanejad just threw the puck at Andersen from behind the net, and when he struggled to handle it, Chris Kreider poked it past him, cutting the lead to one on a disastrous goal for the netminder to give up. Then with the Rangers on a power play only four minutes later, Kreider tipped in Adam Fox’s point shot to beat Andersen, and all of a sudden, the game was tied.

The Hurricanes were completely on their heels at that point, and with under five minutes remaining, Ryan Lindgren circled the net and put a pass across the crease to Kreider, who directed it past Andersen, completing a natural hat trick and giving the Rangers their first lead.

Carolina did sustain some offensive zone pressure in the dying minutes to press for a tie, but with under a minute to go, Barclay Goodrow threw the puck down ice into the empty net, securing a series win for the Rangers, and ending the Hurricanes’ season.


Obviously, it’s an incredibly tough way to go for Carolina. They looked like they were really in the driver’s seat through the first 45 minutes or so, and just fell apart late. Especially after battling back to this point, and looking like they would push the series to a Game 7, it’s a hugely disappointing result.

I’m not one to blame goaltending a ton, but it simply did play a factor in the loss as well. Andersen basically fell over on the first goal from distance, then the second one was just a brutal goal to allow. We know Andersen has historically been prone to bad goals at key times in the postseason, and this year was no different.

Of course, the Hurricanes also got themselves into a position where they had no margin for error, with their 3-0 deficit to start the series. So as much as the Game 6 loss can be chalked up to a lost goaltending battle and a late collapse, we also shouldn’t forget what led to the Hurricanes being in their predicament. Through the first three games of the series, Carolina’s special teams battle was perhaps their biggest downfall, and it remains just as large of a factor in their playoff exit as anything else.

Once again, the Hurricanes failed to get over the hump, but this time around, there’s more disappointment. Last season, there were major injuries to their forward group, and getting to the Conference Final despite it (and even outplaying Florida through a lot of that series) left some legitimate excuses surrounding their exit. This time around though, it’s not as easy to dissect.

Carolina’s roster was the strongest it’s ever been in the Brind’Amour era, and while Jesper Fast and Brett Pesce were out of the lineup, injuries were nowhere near as much of a factor. It’s just a situation where they failed to achieve the success they were probably expecting.

We’re also likely to see the Hurricanes enter next year with a different look. The team has a massive group of pending unrestricted free agents, in Jake Guentzel, Teuvo Teravainen, Brady Skjei, Brett Pesce, Jalen Chatfield, Jordan Martinook, Stefan Noesen, and Tony DeAngelo. That’s not to mention restricted free agents in Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas and Jack Drury, along with the fact that Rod Brind’Amour still doesn’t have a new contract in place. The Hurricanes don’t have the cap space for all of them, and for many, this was the last game they played in Carolina.

So despite a great end to the regular season, and a lineup that looked like a true Stanley Cup Contender, the Hurricanes fell short again.


A season recap article will be out early next week.







OTHER ARTICLES FROM THE SERIES

- Previewing Round 2: Hurricanes vs. Rangers
- Special teams battle makes the difference in Canes' Game 1 loss to Rangers
- Hurricanes suffer 2OT loss to Rangers in Game 2, fall behind 2-0 in series
- Canes on brink of elimination after devastating Game 3 OT loss to Rangers
- Hurricanes stay alive with narrow Game 4 win over Rangers
- Hurricanes back in series with Game 5 road win over Rangers
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More from Ben Shelley
» Hurricanes back in series with Game 5 road win over Rangers
» Hurricanes stay alive with narrow Game 4 win over Rangers
» Canes on brink of elimination after devastating Game 3 OT loss to Rangers
» Hurricanes suffer 2OT loss to Rangers in Game 2, fall behind 2-0 in series
» Special teams battle makes the difference in Canes' Game 1 loss to Rangers