New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes: 2022 NHL Second Round Playoff Series Preview

Via NHL.com

New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes: 2022 NHL Second Round Playoff Series Preview

Hockey

New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes: 2022 NHL Second Round Playoff Series Preview

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Via NHL.com

The Rundown

Both the Rangers and the Hurricanes are coming in battle-tested after sticking it out through some huge game sevens early in these playoffs. The red hot New York Rangers look to take on the highly touted Carolina Hurricanes into what could be one of the grittiest series of these playoffs. Both teams have proven that they’ve got what it takes to move forward, in an especially tough Eastern Conference. But winning has been as easy as it looks.

The Rangers managed to climb back after Pittsburgh held the commanding 3-1 series lead, with overtime heroics from none other than Artemi Panarin. “The Breadman”, on their lethal power play. The Hurricanes bested their season rivals the Boston Bruins in a tight series, with a huge testament to the depth of the squad. The Hurricanes are the potential dynasty to be as they have been getting closer and closer to the mountain top each post season. Where as the Rangers are the amped up new kid on the block, whose looking to bring back past glories and jumpstart their young rebuild into a cemented contender.

The Matchup

The Carolina Hurricanes bested the Rangers in three of the four regular season matchups. The Hurricanes outscored the Rangers 14-10 in those games with the first matchup being a 6-3 rout. During the last game of the season Carolina clinched the division championship in a 4-3 win. The contests between the two teams usually remained close, and looks to still pan out this way in the series. Both are exceptional in special teams play and have lived off of stellar goaltending. But where the Hurricanes take the cake is in their even strength play. The Hurricanes stunt any opponents offense with extreme efficiency and generate a ton of their own offense. 

The Rangers are going to have a handful, especially with how deep the Hurricanes are in comparison. But the Rangers are no strangers to danger. Even with Pittsburgh being the stronger team and owning the lead, the Rangers have played excellent at home and continue to prove their opponents wrong.

Players To Watch

For the Hurricanes, their defense is the most stacked. But surprisingly enough Tony DeAngelo has become a shining star for the Hurricanes on the backend. Currently DeAngelo is tied for second with his teammate Jaccob Slavin in points scored by defenseman in these playoffs. He currently has eight points (one goal and seven assists) in seven games, with half of them coming from his service quarterbacking their powerplay.

The Rangers have a ton of exciting forwards but Mika Zibanejad is the guy to look out for. With 11 points, he is tied for third in scoring amongst forwards, being tied with Brad Marchand and only trailing the likes of Carter Verhaeghe and Connor McDavid. The Rangers have relied to show up on their main guys, and the Stars have come to perform on Broadway for the Blue shirts.

My Prediction

The Rangers have already upset my bracket and have the potential to do so again. New York took down a strong Penguins team, however not at full strength, as Pittsburgh struggled with a ton of injuries. The Penguins relied on Louis Domingue as their backstop  and only faced a barely healthy Tristan Jarry in game seven. However, the strength of the Carolina Hurricanes team is hard to doubt. The Hurricanes have been relatively healthy and have the best goaltending tandem in the league through the regular season. Goals are going to be tough to come by with Antii Raanta posting a .927 save percentage and/or if Frederik Andersen makes a return in this series. They battled through a brutal series with Boston and proved they can battle with the best. The Hurricanes should win in six games, yet I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rangers steal another series in seven again.

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