Igor Shesterkin made 43 saves and the host New York Rangers held on for a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference second-round series.
The Rangers pulled within 2-1 in the best-of-seven series and have a chance to even the series Tuesday.
Mika Zibanejad scored a power-play goal in the first period and set up Chris Kreider’s 30th career playoff goal in the second period as the Rangers won their fourth straight postseason home game after scoring once in the first two games of the series. Tyler Motte added an empty-net goal with 83 seconds remaining as the Rangers survived committing 35 giveaways.
Nino Niederreiter scored in the second for Carolina, which is 0-4 on the road in this year’s postseason.
After the horn sounded, Carolina’s Max Domi hit New York defenceman Ryan Lindgren with his stick and both players wrestled on the ice.
Shesterkin withstood an early barrage as Carolina took the game’s first seven shots and 13 of the first 15. He also made seven saves during three Carolina power plays, including a man advantage with 6:03 remaining in the third.
Zibanejad gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with 8:06 remaining when he waited for a long cross-ice pass from Artemi Panarin and ripped a one-timer from the left circle over defenceman Brett Pesce’s stick and into the right side of the net.
Zibanejad’s goal occurred about a minute before Shesterkin made a diving glove save on Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Carolina nearly tied it with 16:50 left in the second when Shesterkin stopped Domi and Brendan Smith but left the puck loose in the crease before Kevin Rooney retrieved the loose puck to prevent the Hurricanes from getting the rebound.
With 14:05 remaining, Kreider gave the Rangers a two-goal lead when he moved out from behind the net and lifted a shot from the bottom of the right circle over Raanta’s right arm. The play came moments after Zibanejad knocked the stick away from Carolina defenceman Tony DeAngelo.
Carolina got within 2-1 when Niederreiter’s backhander from the right circle trickled in off Shesterkin with 11:42 left but Motte scored after forcing a giveaway near the neutral zone.
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