Zibanejad leads Rangers to 3-1 win over Hurricanes in Game 3
Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin stopped 43 shots, and the New York Rangers beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 Sunday in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.
Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte also scored as the Rangers cut their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven matchup. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
It was just the Rangers' second win against Carolina in the teams' last 10 meetings, dating to the qualifying round of the 2020 playoffs in the bubble in Toronto. The Hurricanes swept that series in three games and won three of four in the regular season.
Nino Niederreiter scored for Carolina, and Antti Raanta finished with 30 saves. The Hurricanes dropped to 0-4 on the road this postseason to go along with their 6-0 home mark.
Shesterkin had 17 saves in the first period, 17 in the second and nine in the third.
The Rangers had a 2-on-1 breakaway 5 1/2 minutes into the third period, but Ryan Reaves' shot from the right side was stopped by Raanta. Motte, who started raising his arms in anticipation of a goal, couldn't corral the rebound.
Raanta then made a stellar save to deny Kaapo Kakko's attempt from the right side three minutes later to keep it a one-goal game.
The Hurricanes pulled Raanta for an extra skater with 2 1/2 minutes to go. Less than 30 seconds later, Kreider missed a chance at the empty net, but Motte sealed it with a backhander from the defensive zone with 1:23 remaining.
Kreider pushed the Rangers' lead to 2-0 as he got the puck from Zibanejad behind the Hurricanes' net, brought it around to Raanta's right, and fired a shot past the goalie top shelf from the left circle at 5:55 of the second. It was Kreider's sixth of the postseason.
Niederreiter got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard 8:18 into the second as he brought the puck up the right side and put a backhander past Shesterkin for his fourth of the playoffs.
Carolina outshot New York 17-13 in the first period and had the better chances early with a 12-3 edge over the first 10 minutes of the game. However, the Hurricanes couldn't get anything past Shesterkin.
Zibanejad opened the scoring with the Rangers' first power-play goal of the series. He got a pass from Artemi Panarin and fired a shot from the left circle past Raanta with 8:06 left in the first for his fourth of the postseason. It was New York's first goal since early in the first period of Game 1.
The Rangers, who were shut out in Game 2, came in 0 for 5 on the power play against the Hurricanes.
Looking for a spark, Rangers coach Gerard Gallant shuffled lines to start the game. Andrew Copp opened centering a line with Kakko and Frank Vatrano. The second line in was Filip Chytil centering Kreider and Zibanejad. Panarin centered a line with Alexis Lafreniere and Ryan Strome. The fourth line was Kevin Rooney, Motte and Reaves.
Gallant went back to the team's usual lines to start the third period.
Kreider's goal gave him 47 career postseason points, tying Ron Duguay for ninth place in franchise history.
Carolina's Teuvo Teravainen snapped a three-game point streak in which he had a goal and three assists.
By VIN A. CHERWOO