It took eight minutes for the New York Rangers to take the air out of PNC Arena on Monday night en route to a 6-2 Game 7 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The first period hadn't even hit the halfway mark when power-play goals by Adam Fox and Chris Kreider put the Rangers up 2-0.
Kreider scored for a second time in the third period on an incredible breakaway effort.
Naturally, Kreider was singled out for his performance.
Putting away another in the 3rd frame, Kreider has moved into sole possession of 6th in career <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/StanleyCup?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#StanleyCup</a> Playoff points with the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NYR?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NYR</a> franchise (50). He also has joined Derick Brassard (9 in 2015) as the only Rangers players since 1998 to post 8+ goals in a single playoff year <a href="https://t.co/bivE5eKHXC">https://t.co/bivE5eKHXC</a>
The 31-year-old spearheaded an efficient attack. New York quickly took the crowd out of the game, and it wasted little time erasing any momentum Carolina built.
While it would have been unlikely, a comeback still looked possible when Vincent Trocheck netted the Hurricanes' first goal at the 8:11 mark of the third period to make it 4-1. But only 40 seconds later, Filip Chytil answered.
The two-time reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning await the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final.
Tampa Bay needed seven games to take out the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round but then swept the Florida Panthers, who collected a league-high 122 points in the regular season.
In that series, the Panthers put just three goals past 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner Andrei Vasilevskiy.
The Rangers will undoubtedly need Monday's version of Kreider in the next round.