Rangers allow late power-play goal in Game 4 loss to Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes finally scored on the power play and it was enough to extend their second-round playoff series against the Rangers.

Former Ranger Brady Skjei scored with 3:11 remaining Saturday night to give the Canes a 4-3 victory over the Rangers and force a Game 5 against the Blueshirts at Madison Square Garden Monday night.

The loss was the Rangers' first in these playoffs after seven straight wins. The Rangers still lead the best-of-seven series, three games to one.

Here are the main takeaways:

-The Rangers had been a perfect 16-for-16 in killing penalties in the series against Carolina’s second-ranked power play, including one successful kill earlier Saturday night, before Skjei’s goal. Overall in the playoffs, the Rangers are 31-for-34 (91.2 percent) on the PK. Skjei’s game-winner came after Ryan Lindgren was called for tripping Jordan Martinook.

-A surging Alexis Lafrenière scored his fourth goal in the last three games for the Rangers to tie the score at 3 with 17:56 left in the third period. He flicked the puck from behind the goal line when he saw that Frederik Andersen didn’t have his left pad jammed against the post. The puck hit the goalie and went in.

-Entering Game 4, Ranger goalie Igor Shesterkin had a streak of 30 consecutive playoff games allowing three goals or fewer, going back to Game 5 of the 2022 first round, but that ended when Skjei scored. He and his Ranger backup, Jonathan Quick, are the only two goalies in NHL history to have streaks that long. Quick had one of 34 straight games from 2012-13.

-The Canes extended the series, but here’s what they face in their comeback attempt: Teams that have trailed, 3-0, have only rallied to win a best-of-seven series four times in NHL history. The team that grabs a 3-0 lead is 205-4 overall.

-The desperate Canes buzzed around the offensive zone throughout the first period, scoring three times on 10 shots. Just 1:51 into the game, Evgeny Kuznetsov beat Shesterkin on the stick side with a shot that hit the crossbar and went in. It was a big goal for Kuznetsov, who was scratched in Game 2 but has played the last two games, and came on Carolina’s second shot of the game. At the 6:33 mark, Stefan Noesen stuffed in a rebound to give Carolina a 2-0 lead. It’s the first time in the playoffs the Rangers have trailed by two goals in a game.

-The Rangers got within one on a gorgeous goal by Will Cuylle with 11:54 remaining in the first. Kaapo Kakko threaded two defenders with a smart pass and Cuylle skated in and shot it past Andersen’s glove. It was Cullye’s first career playoff goal. The Hurricanes kept pressing, though, and pushed their lead to two goals again with 4:31 left in the period. Jake Guentzel held the puck on the goal line on Shesterkin’s right and fed Sebastian Aho in the slot for a one-timer that zipped in on the glove side.

-The Rangers generated several chances in the second period and scored the only goal of the frame when Barclay Goodrow tipped in a shot by Braden Schneider with 7:17 left, cutting Carolina’s lead to 3-2. The Rangers could’ve scored more – both Lafreniére and Alex Wennberg hit the post. But the Canes had chances, too, notably when Tony DeAngelo hit the post with about 15 minutes left. Guentzel had a late breakaway stopped by Shesterkin, too.

-The Canes went back to Andersen in goal after using Pyotr Kochetkov in Game 3. Kochetkov made 22 saves and allowed three goals in an overtime loss. Andersen, who had started the first seven games of Carolina’s playoff run, allowed eight goals on 62 shots in the first two games against the Rangers.

-Filip Chytil, who made an emotional return to play in Game 3 after being out since November, was a scratch for Game 4 with an illness. Jonny Brodzinski replaced him in the lineup and skated on a line with Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey.

Game MVP: Brady Skjei

Skjei broke a 3-3 tie in the third period by scoring for Carolina, keeping the Canes alive in the series.


What's next

The Rangers return to MSG on Monday night to try and finish the series in Game 5, starting at 7 p.m.