Carolina collapses in third period: Rangers eliminate Hurricanes from playoffs in Game 6

Chip Alexander, The News & Observer on

Published in Hockey

RALEIGH, N.C. — A season that had much success ended in disappointment Thursday for the Carolina Hurricanes, the Canes losing, 5-3, to the New York Rangers at PNC Arena in Game 6 of their Stanley Cup playoff series.

Chris Kreider’s natural hat trick in the third period was the difference, giving the Rangers the lead after the Canes had taken a 3-1 lead into the final period. Barlclay Goodrow added a late empty-net score to seal it.

The Rangers, who won the first three games of the second-round series, move on to play the winner of the Florida-Boston semifinal series in the Eastern Conference final.

It was a bitter end for the Hurricanes. They battled back from the 3-0 deficit to win two elimination games and force a Game 6 at PNC Arena, then had a lead in the third as they sought to take the series to a Game 7.

But Kreider scored three times in the third, the second on a power play for a 3-3 tie, as the Rangers scored four times.

On Kreider’s first goal, Mika Zibanejad’s short shot stopped near the post as goalie Frederik Andersen tried to find the puck and smother it. Kreider poked it past Andersen’s left skate and into the net at 6:43 of the third.


Kreider then tipped a shot by Artemi Panarin for the 3-3 tie on the power play at 11:54 after Canes captain Jordan Staal was called for cross-checking.

The Rangers kept pressing and Kreider scored again to complete a natural hat trick with 4:19 left in regulation as New York fought back from a 3-1 deficit.

Before Kreider’s first score, Jordan Martinook had a shot loudly ring the crossbar. Moments later, Jake Guentzel had a shot hit the iron, Igor Shesterkin’s goalie stick and Shesterkin before the puck fell just wide of the net.

Staal, who has scored 10 goals in 21 career elimination playoff games, twice was stopped by Shesterkin on short shots. Staal had a tip off the rush and later a good look from the low slot but Shesterkin made the saves.

Sebastian Aho skated in alone on Shesterkin but missed on a backhand.

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