Cary, NC — Both coaches made goalie changes but the outcome was the same, as the Canes swept the NY Rangers in the best of 5 qualifier series, in 3 straight games by a score of 4-1.
The change in goalies was more of a rest for both as both Petr Mrazek and Henrik Lundqvist were sharp between the pipes for both games, the last being the day before. Both James Reimer and rookie Igor Shesterkin also had great games with Reimer at one point standing on his head. The sweep was the third in franchise history coming off the Islander series last year.
Rangers, Canes Stick To Their Game Plans
With their backs against the wall, the Rangers came out hard with speed, great forechecking, upped their level of physicality but the Canes were prepared and kept their discipline. The game plan for the Rangers was to throw rubber at the net and hope for the best as they had 14 shots on net while limiting the Canes to 6.
Both teams had a powerplay in the first with both penalty kill teams doing their jobs allowing very few shots and the goalies solid in net. As Martin Necas appeared to be the target in game 2, Andrei Svechnikov was the obvious target in this game. Midway in the period, Svech was carrying the puck through the neutral zone with, for some reason, his head was down.
Artemi Panarin broke his stick but was able to lay a shoulder into Svech at center ice, sending him flying onto his back. The hit appeared to be high but the refs let the play continue. Lesson learned- never let your guard down.
Teravainen Ties Game on Slick Pass From Svech
With just seconds into the second period, Chris Kreider got the puck at the Canes blue line, used his speed and strength to get past both Canes defenders to put a soft but precise forehander past Reimer for the early lead at the 12 second mark. That goal and the pasting a Cane at any opportunity at every is certainly what the Rangers needed to stay alive.
The only Rangers lead of the entire series lasted all of 2:06 as Teuvo Teravainen tied the score on a great possession by the Canes in the Rangers end. Marc Staal broke his stick with an uncalled crosscheck to Morgan Geekie. The Canes were in the middle of a line change getting the first line on the ice, keeping possession with quick passes not allowing the Rangers any time.
Sebastian Aho sent a pass to the crease with a few hacks and whacks by both teams. Andrei Svechnikov snared the puck at the back left of the net, making a nifty soft pass to Turbo coming down Broadway. Turbo faked left putting the puck on his backhand lifting it top shelf to tie the game. Very pretty play and goal.
Both coaches must have told their teams to stay out of the penalty box as throughout the game there were just one penalty for each team in each period.
Foegle Nets Game Winner, Aho Notches 2
The third period turned out to be a critical period after the teams exchanged lone goals in the second. The Canes, of course, wanted to end the series and move on to possibly avoid injuries in another game against a desperate team. The Rangers, of course, were fighting for survival. The Necas line was on the ice, lost possession of the puck deep in the Rangers zone.
The patented Canes forechecking kicked in with Warren Foegle and Vincent Trocheck forcing a turnover in the far corner. Martin Necas got the puck on the near side, sending it up to Brady Skjei at the left point. The former Ranger quickly sent off a blast to the net that Foegs was able to get a blade on while being tied up, deflecting the puck into the top left corner to put the Canes up by 1.
A little over 5 minutes later, Seabass had the puck between the boards and faceoff circle in the Rangers end with two defenders but no line mates nearby. Seabass totally undressed both defenders, kept stick handling past both, the last with a slick backhand move then flipping a sweet backhander top shelf for a highlight reel play. Seabass sealed the win with 31 seconds remaining with a hustle play resulting in an open net goal and second unassisted goal of the game.
The Canes are the first team to move on to the ‘official’ playoffs and are now waiting to see who their opponent will be. The win gives the Canes about a week to mend any ailment but the real challenge will be what to do in the bubble. With any luck, they’ll be reading CaryCitizen.com.
Speaking of which, we need your help. Please see the #SaveCaryCitizen GoFundMe campaign and help this free, local publication continue. I volunteered to write Canes coverage about 10 years ago and would love to continue for another 10 years but we need your support to keep this going. Thank you.
Help CaryCitizen make it through the pandemic – support our GoFundMe campaign.