Rangers star players shine bright in Game 7 win over Carolina

May 30, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafrenière (13) celebrates the goal scored by defenseman Adam Fox (23) goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period in game seven of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals with their 6-2 Game 7 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night.

The New York Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 6-2 in a win-or-go-home road battle with their top players all contributing to the win. It was the fifth time the Blueshirts had faced elimination and their second game 7 victory in this year’s playoffs.

The Hurricanes had not lost a home playoff game this season (7-0) heading into the contest in Raleigh, N.C. on Memorial Day.

Head coach Gerard Gallant had been waiting for his top six players to have a break-out game for most of the first two rounds and they choose the most important time, in their most important game of the year, to display the scoring touch the coach has been waiting to see.

Chris Kreider led the team with two goals, and Adam Fox, Ryan Strome, Filip Chytil and Andrew Copp all found the back of the net. Mika Zibanejad had three helpers along with Fox, Copp, and Artemi Panarin assisting on every important goal.

Igor Shesterkin made 37 saves including 16 in the first period to preserve a 2-0 lead. With the win, Shesterkin becomes the third goaltender in Rangers history to win multiple career Game 7s (2-0) joining Henrik Lundqvist (6-2) and Mike Richter (2-0).

Good Enough To Win

The Rangers made some mistakes throughout this Round two series but their resiliency to fight back along with their head coach’s overwhelming faith in this squad was contributing factor in the seven-game series win.

“I’ve said it a hundred times this year,” coach Gerard Gallant said, “we’re not perfect, but we find ways to win.”

Jacob Trouba was involved in another crushing open-ice hit that sent Carolina Hurricanes Seth Jarvis to the locker room in the first period. He did not return to the game. It was the second consecutive series where Trouba knocked a player out of the game with an upper-body injury.

Sidney Crosby was a victim of a Trouba check in the first round. The Penguins captain missed one game before returning to play. Both hits were deemed legal by the on-ice officials and by the NHL Player and Safety Department.

Defenseman Adam Fox appreciates what Trouba brings to the ice every game,

“It seems like he can turn the tide for us when we need it,” Fox said of Trouba. “You saw it last series, you see it this series. Obviously, there’s one or two big ones that everyone sees, but there are many more that wears teams down, wears guys down.”

Ryan Lindgren gave the team a scare in the second period when he was helped off the ice after a collision behind the Ranger’s net.  The Warrior, who has been battling a lower-body injury causing him to miss three games in Round one of the playoffs, returned several minutes later in the same second period. He ended the night a plus- 3 with four blocked shots.

The Hurricanes lost another player in the contest when goalie Antti Raanta suffered what appeared to be a right leg injury, He was assisted to the locker room and was unable to return to the game. Pyotr Kochetkov, the Hurricane’s third-string backup, was forced to complete the game. It was his second appearance in this series.

This team now heads to the Eastern Conference Finals four wins away from competing for the Stanley Cup. Next up is the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

Game 1 of the ECF begins Wednesday night at MSG with puck drop at 8 p.m.