Hurricanes shut down on power play again, fall into 0-2 series hole against Rangers

NEW YORK (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes had the NHL's second-best power play during the regular season. They've been bottled up the New York Rangers and that's been the difference in their second-round playoff series.

The Hurricanes converted at 26.9% during the season — behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning. After going 5 for 15 (33.3%) in the first round against the New York Islanders, they've been shut down on 10 advantages through two games against the Rangers.

Special teams was the key in the series opener as Carolina went 0 for 5 in the 4-3 loss on Sunday while New York scored on both its chances. The Hurricanes went 0 for 5 again and gave up two more power-play goals in a 4-3 loss in two overtimes in Game 2 on Tuesday night to fall into an 0-2 series hole.

“Everyone knows our special teams have to get better,” Carolina's Jordan Staal said. "We’ll get better and find a way to turn the tide in the series.”

After managing just five shots on goal during power plays in Game 1, they totaled six with the advantage in Game 2.

“We definitely got be sharper,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We got to get inside. We were all on the outside and that’s just not how we do it. ... We got to get back to doing it the way we know how to.”

They got their first opportunity in Game 2 when the Rangers' Will Cuylle was sent off for goalie interference after running into Frederik Andersen while driving to the net early in the opening period. Carolina managed two shots on goal, had one blocked and missed on another.

They got their second chance early in the second when Rangers captain Jacob Trouba was called for high-sticking. However, that advantage lasted just 2 seconds when Andrei Svechnikov was sent off for interference off the ensuing faceoff. Svechnikov also took a penalty 6 seconds into a power play in the final minute of Game 1.

Carolina had another abbreviated power play midway through the second with Trouba in the box for tripping when Jake Guentzel was called for roughing 51 seconds into the advantage. The Hurricanes managed just two shots on goal during that advantage.

On the other end, the Hurricanes had the league's best penalty-kill during the season, but gave up the Rangers' third power-play goal of the series when Chris Kreider scored the tying goal early in the third period, and then Vincent Trocheck scored the winner 7:24 into the second overtime.

The Hurricanes got their fourth power play of the night when Trouba was sent off for tripping — his third penalty of the night — at 7:57 of overtime. Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin made nice saves on attempts by Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin.

“We’re working hard,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. “I know what they have on the other side to their power play and I think our penalty kill was working real hard, trying to do the right things and we’ve gotten big saves from Igor (Shesterkin) when we needed them.”

The Hurricanes, who finished 0 for 5 on the power play, got an advantage when Artemi Panarin was called for hooking at 3:28 in the second OT. They managed just one shot.

The Rangers, who were third on the penalty kill during the season, have killed off 18 straight penalties to improve to 25 for 27 in the postseason.


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