Following a slow start in which they failed to challenge New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Blueshirts 2-1 in overtime in Game 1 of their second-round playoff matchup at PNC Arena on Wednesday to take a 1-0 series lead.
The Rangers led the Hurricanes 1-0 for more than two-and-a-half periods thanks to an early goal from Filip Chytil, but Carolina broke through with around three minutes remaining in the third period to tie the game 1-1 on a goal from Sebastian Aho and send it to overtime.
After Hurricanes defenseman Ian Cole scored the game-winner just three minutes into overtime, the Rangers were ripped for their horrific defensive strategy in the third period as they sat back and allowed Carolina to control much of the action.
Tough way to lose. Ranger defense got caught with under 3 minutes left and Aho had two shots to put it in. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a> need to regroup and win Game 2. They have no choice.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoQuitInNY?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NoQuitInNY</a>
It's not hard to see why the Rangers' defensive strategy in the third period didn't work out. The Hurricanes entered averaging 3.43 goals per game in the playoffs and were bound to eventually find the back of the net.
That said, the Rangers will need to regroup for Game 2 on Friday and find a way to score more than once on Canes backup goaltender Antti Raanta. That could be difficult, though, as the veteran also stymied the Boston Bruins in their first-round series.