The Hurricanes are 6-0 at home in the playoffs, the longest one-year home playoff winning streak in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history. They lead the NHL in home wins and home goal difference (up-15).
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Carolina won Games 1 and 2 against Rangers 2-1 and 2-0 respectively.
“I think we did a good job in the two games here to silence the crowd but we just couldn’t find ways to win,” said the Rangers forward. Kevin Rooney. “Your home record doesn’t matter. We want to start the game well and play well from the start. »
The Rangers rebounded by winning their two home games at Madison Square Garden by a total of 7-2, including a 4-1 win in Game 4 on Tuesday to level the series 2-2.
“We didn’t play very well together in Game 4,” admitted the Hurricanes Center Jordan Staal. “You have to give them credit. They tried hard and were desperate, but not us. We looked disorganized. We hope to bring the game closer again by being aware of where we are and what we want to achieve. »
If a best-of-seven series is tied 2-2, the team that wins Game 5 wins the series by a margin of 78.8 percent (223-60), including four of the six teams in that situation in the first Round. The home team that wins Game 5 and takes a 3-2 lead wins the series with 80.6 percent (141:34), while that percentage drops to 75.9 percent (82:26) when it comes to the away teams goes, who previously won game 5 win the series.
Here are three things to watch out for in Game 5:
1. When will the power game awaken?
The Hurricanes have missed nine power-play chances in the series and have netted just once in 18 attempts since Game 6 against the Boston Bruins in the first round. Worse still, they are unable to use their power plays to generate momentum in 5v5. Rather, it is the Rangers’ outnumbered units that power them.
Carolina made changes, mutant Nino Niederreiter on the first unit to obscure the goaltender’s vision and placement Teuvo Teravainen on the second wave, but nothing helps.
“Of course we have to find the back of the net,” agreed coach Rod Brind’Amour.
Video: CAR@NYR, #4: Vatrano opens brand in AN
The other problem for the Hurricanes is that the Rangers have scored on the power play in each of the last two games. Other chances with the man advantage also got them going.
The Hurricanes need the power play to intervene in Game 5 or they need to stop the Rangers from doing any damage.
2. Igor, once again
Igor Shesterkin was Rangers’ best player in Game 3 and probably Game 4 as well. When the goalie is at their best, Rangers usually find a way to win.
Shesterkin made 43 saves in Game 3, a 3-1 win. He stopped 30 shots in Game 4, a 4-1 win.
He is 5-2 with a 1.98 clean sheet average and a .939 save percentage since being eliminated in the first round of Games 3 and 4 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. His two losses came in Games 1 and 2 at Carolina when he conceded three goals on 47 shots.
Rangers coach Gerard Gallant believes it allowed Shesterkin to mentally hit the reset button after being drawn from back-to-back games against the Penguins. He had tough talks with goalkeeping coach Benoit Allaire and that has made the difference in his game ever since.
“It’s his first series and he’s a young goaltender and you saw the Pittsburgh crowd trying to distract him,” Gallant said. You learn and get better at it. “Benny” has approached him a couple of times, you have to concentrate on your game, you can’t imagine how the crowd will react after a bad goal. You must forget it quickly. He was excellent. He’s an impressive goalkeeper, an important part of our group and I think he’s ready for that now. »
3. Zibanejad vs. Staal
The showdown in Game 5 is Staal vs. Rangers Center Mika Zibanejad.
The Hurricanes were able to roll out this matchup in Game 1 and Game 2 with the latest change at home. Staal and his trio colleagues Jesper Schnell and Niederreiter had the advantage over Zibanejad and his teammates Chris Kreider and Frank Vatrano.
Zibanejad, Kreider and Vatrano did not collect any points. Staal has won 19 of his 29 faceoffs against Zibanejad, including eight of 13 circle duels in defensive territory.
Video: CAR@NYR, No. 4: Zibanejad increases the deficit in the 2nd period
But Rangers managed to pull Staal away from Zibanejad in the third and fourth duels when they saved the last substitution. He had three points (two goals, one assist) and suffered just 12 face-offs against Staal, just six of them in the defensive zone.
Staal will face Zibanejad again in Game 5, and Zibanejad knows that unlike in Games 1 and 2, he needs to find a way to make a difference.
“It’s a fun challenge,” said Zibanejad.
Planned formation of Rangers
Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad, Frank Vatrano
Artemi Panarin — Ryan Strome — Andrew Copp
Alexis Lafreniere — Philip Chytil — Tyler moth
Kapo Kakko –Kevin Rooney– Ryan Reaves
Ryan Lindgren — Adam Fox
K’Andre Miller — Jacob Trouba
justin brown — Brad Schneider
Entrenched : Patrick Nemet, Libor Hajek, Greg McKegg, Julien Gauthier, Jonny Brodzinski, Dryden Hunt
Wounded : Barclay Goodrow (Lower body), Sammy Blais (Knee)
Planned formation of the hurricanes
Teuvo Teravainen — Sebastian Ah — Seth Jarvis
Andrei Shchnikov — Vincent Trocheck — Martin Neca
Nino Niederreiter – Jordan Staal – Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Max Domi
Jacob Slawin — Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei — Brett Pesce
Brendan Smith — Ian Cole
Entrenched : Ethan Bear, Derek Stepan, Stephen Lorentz
pain : Frederick Anderson (Lower body)
In the notebook
The Rangers held an optional training session attended by Schneider, Braun and Rooney. … Martinook is expected to return after suffering a lower body injury in Game 3 of the first round against the Bruins. Lorentz should be left out.
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