After disposing of the Washington Capitals in four games, New York will continue their playoff run with a series against the Carolina Hurricanes (4:00PM on ESPN). 

RangersRegular Season RankingsHurricanes
1st League Rank3rd 
7th Goals For8th 
7th Goals Against4th  
3rd Power play2nd 
3rd  Penalty Kill1st  
RangersPostseason RankingsHurricanes
5th – 3.75Goals For4th – 3.80
2nd – 1.75Goals Against6th – 2.40
3rd – 3.75Power play5th – 3.33
4th – 88.2Penalty Kill10th – 72.7

Rangers vs Hurricanes

The two best regular season teams in the Eastern Conference will battle in round two. New York went from playing the worst team in the league to make the playoffs – to take on the betting odds favorite in Vegas. After a month or two into the season, it became quite clear that these two teams are the class of the Metropolitan Division and that they were destined for a second-round matchup. 


Both teams are aggressive on the forecheck, but perhaps no team is more aggressive in the league than the Carolina Hurricanes. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour implemented a very hard working man-to-man system. This system is a one of a kind and it does not matter the situation on the ice. They will pressure you at all times and force you into mistakes. The Rangers aren’t as aggressive as the Hurricanes as they will pick and choose their moments. Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette has implemented a 1-3-1 system in the neutral zone which can be very difficult to break down. The Capitals had many issues getting through the neutral zone as a slower team. The Hurricanes are a quicker, in-your-face type of team which will lead to more success against the Rangers system. Of course, they will expose themselves and slip ups or turnovers could turn into odd man rushes for the Rangers. 

This is just the fourth-time in NHL history a playoff series will feature two coaches where one was a captain and the other was a coach on the same Stanley Cup Winning team. Laviolette won the Stanley Cup as the head coach of the Hurricanes in 2006, and his captain was Rod Brind’Amour. 

“I owe him [Laviolette] a lot in my career,” Brind’Amour said. Number one, the Stanley Cup, which is the biggest achievement, and he was coach, and he gave me as a player the best opportunity in all the years I ever played. Now that I’m doing this, I take a lot from the way he coached too. I owe him that too.”

“During the year we won the Cup, you could see his [Brind’Amour) leadership qualities,” said Laviolette on Brind’Amour. “When he spoke, he commanded the room. His work ethic as a player I’m assuming it has translated as a coach. They play well and they’re well prepared. That’s a reflection on him.”


The Blueshirts offense in the first round went through their top-six forwards as it has much of the year. But leading the way was their top two centers Mika Zibanejad and Vincent Trocheck. Zibanejad, who had a down year in the regular season, recorded seven points in four games, while Trocheck recorded six points. Trocheck’s three goals were the most on the team. Artemi Panarin had three points in four games. Panarin recorded 120 points in the regular season – the best offensive season of his career. But the Russian winger is still trying to make up for last year’s disappointing run where he recorded just two points in seven games as the Blueshirts were bounced in the first round. 

Jack Roslovic, who was acquired at the trade deadline for a mid-round draft pick, recorded four points on the top line with Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. The Blueshirts fourth- line played a key role in game one against the Capitals as they combined for five points. Matt Rempe, who played a limited role against Washington, opened the scoring in the series, and his linemate Jimmy Vesey would record the third goal in a 4-1 victory. 

Filip Chytil did not feature in the first series as he is still coming back from a concussion. Chytil can be looked at as an ace-in-the-hole in case the Rangers need something different. The young Czech center has practiced with the team since the beginning of the playoffs as he works to get back into game shape. Chytil hasn’t been available since the first ten games of the regular season. 

Carolina’s offense was led by Seth Jarvis who recorded seven points in five games. He plays on the second line with Teuvo Teravainen and defensive specialist Jordan Staal. Their top line consists of a deadly trio in Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Jake Guentzel. Guentzel was the biggest fish available at the trade deadline, and the Hurricanes got some much needed scoring help. Guentzel had four points in the first round and he will be very familiar with the Rangers like the rest of the Hurricanes as he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Martin Necas had five points in the first round. He features on a third line with Jordan Martinook and Jack Drury. Drury is the nephew of Rangers General Manager Chris Drury. They also traded for some veteran leadership on the fourth line in Evgeny Kuznetsov. Despite playing a role he was not accustomed to for most of his career, he was effective in the first round with four points and he was reliable in the faceoff circle. 

The Hurricanes offense has a lot of depth and a lot of speed. This is a much deeper team than the Capitals and it will be evenly matched across the board. 


The Blueshirts defense has been solid as a team for most of the year. They have one of the deepest defensive cores in the league, although many would say no defensive core is deeper than Carolina. The Canes have a top pair featuring Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns. Slavin is often regarded as one of the most underrated defenders in the league and his defensive game is as good as any. Their second pair features two former Rangers in Brady Skjei and Tony DeAngelo. New York is very familiar with both players and what they bring to the table. After being traded out of New York for a first-round selection, Skjei has cemented himself as a solid second-pairing and reliable defenseman. There is no drop off for the Canes as their third defensive pair has Dmitry Orlov and Jalen Chatfield. Orlov was one of the most highly wanted free agents last summer, whereas Chatfield has cemented himself as an everyday player. One injury to note is the Hurricanes are without one of their best defenders in Brett Pesce who will miss at least the first two games in New York. 

For the Blueshirts, Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren lead the way. Fox had another outstanding season and he will be looked at to provide some offense. In game four against the Capitals, the American defender did suffer an injury, but he did return and finish the game. After missing practice earlier in the week, Fox practiced on Saturday and is expected to be available to start the series. K’Andre Miller and Braden Schneider were a pair put together late in the season after captain Jacob Trouba went down with an injury. That pair was excellent in Trouba’s absence and Laviolette started with those two together in the playoffs. Erik Gustafsson and Trouba make up the third pair to rival the Canes deep defensive core. 


Igor Shesterkin had about as good of a first round as you can ask. Shesterkin recorded four wins and a .931 save percentage. The Rangers know they are going to get good and reliable goaltending from one of the league’s best. And if for some reason backup netminder Jonathan Quick had to enter the game, New York will feel confident after Quick had a resurgence. Quick is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and will be looked at as a leader behind the scenes. 

Frederik Andersen was out for most of the season after a scary health issue. Andersen had three blood clots in his lungs and was put on heavy blood thinners in what was considered a life-threatening moment. The Danish netminder didn’t miss a beat when he returned to the ice in what has turned out to be a remarkable story. In just 16 regular season games played, Andersen went 13-2-0 with a .932 save percentage. Against the Islanders, Andersen played all five games and recorded a .912 save percentage. Carolina used four goalies in the regular season, but it will likely be all Andersen for as long as they remain in the playoffs. The backup is Pyotr Kochetkov who started 40 games for the Hurricanes – the most of any of their goalies. Kochetkov put up a reliable .911 save percentage. 

Special Teams

Both teams have elite special teams that they will feel the utmost confidence in. The Hurricanes power-play operated at 33% against the Islanders and their penalty-kill was the best in the regular season. The Islanders were able to take advantage of the man advantage against the Canes in the first-round as Carolina’s penalty-kill was at just 72.7%. Perhaps the Rangers can take advantage of an extremely aggressive penalty-kill if they can move the puck quickly. Carolina won’t let you set up, so moving the puck quickly will provide more space for the Blueshirts. 

New York’s penalty kill was solid in the first round. Alex Ovechkin was a non-factor on special teams. Often at times, Kreider was responsible for man marking arguably the greatest score of all time and he was put in some difficult positions. Kreider was up for the task and he was also a threat shorthanded. Carolina doesn’t have a clear cut power-play scoring threat. The Hurricanes are a very balanced unit and have many threats who can hurt you. 

Projected Lineup










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