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Rangers face the ornery Hurricanes team in Game 3
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Rangers face the ornery Hurricanes team in Game 3

NHL

RALEIGH, N.C. – Pure anger seeped from the visiting locker room Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, where moments earlier Vincent Trocheck scored a power-play goal for the Rangers in double overtime to send his former team, the Hurricanes, back against Raleigh in a 2-0 series hole.

One by one, Carolina players snorted as they tossed their enormous hockey bags onto a cart to be loaded onto their team bus.

The weight of the unbearable defeat was clearly the heaviest thing they bore.

Jordan Staal addresses Matt Rempe during the Rangers’ Game 2 double overtime win over the Hurricanes. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Game 2 saw a typical Hurricanes performance, and it still wasn’t enough to beat the Blueshirts – who remain undefeated this postseason after earning their sixth straight win.

Memory should serve the Rangers well, though.

The home team won its first six games the last time these clubs met in the playoffs two years ago, before the Rangers became the first to defeat the Canes on home ice that postseason with a dominant victory in Game 7.

“You can always say those things, but at the end of the day we know what we have to do to win,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of how the 2022 series went. “We’ll just have to find a way to do that. You can draw from whatever you want, but at the end of the day they know. They believe in that. I know, they’re the ones playing the game, but I think they understand what we have to do and I think they feel capable of doing it.

Forget despair, the hurricanes are raging.

Mike Zibanejad and Jake Guentzel battle for control of the puck during the Rangers’ dual win over the Hurricanes in Game 2. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Tuesday was a game that really could have gone either way, and the Canes just didn’t do enough with the opportunities they had.

Carolina captain Jordan Staal almost accused the Rangers of diving, while Martin Necas said everyone knows what kind of player Jacob Trouba is when asked about the Rangers captain’s elbow that just missed the Hurricanes forward in a huge goal attempt .

As hard as the Hurricanes worked to win on Tuesday, there is something to be said about the way the Rangers never let the game get away from them.

The Hurricanes weren’t happy with Jacob Trouba’s flying check on Marrtin Necas during the first overtime of the Rangers’ Game 2 double-overtime victory. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Of course, 54 saves from goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin made things a little easier, but despite some overwhelming displays from the visitors, they consistently stayed within striking distance.

Game 2 of Round 2 marked the first time the Rangers allowed two straight goals this postseason. It was also the first time they trailed after a stretch since the start of the play-offs.

And yet the Rangers rode what was a roller coaster of a game – as head coach Peter Laviolette put it – before it was time to end it.

So the Hurricanes took down the two banners they brought with them to make the hallways of the MSG visiting locker room feel like home.

One of them read: ‘Cause chaos’ – and they did so, but to no avail.

Now they go back to their real home, pissed off and stirred.

The storm has come and the Rangers fly straight into it.

“I think we believe in each other,” Barclay Goodrow said. “I think we have a lot of confidence in our teammates and the system we play in. The group has been together for a while. I don’t know where the faith comes from, but we built it. It started here from day 1 and just kept going. I think this is because we have a lot of confidence in our teammates.”




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