Connect with us



RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes turned their last stand into a season-extending victory. Incredibly, it was the struggling power play that got them there.

Brady Skjei scored on the power play with 3:11 left to help the Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 4-3 on Saturday night, staving off a sweep by winning Game 4 of the second-round playoff series.

Skjei’s shot from the the point came off a feed from Teuvo Teravainen, with the puck zipping past Igor Shesterkin to catch the upper-right corner of the goal and bang into the net. That was Carolina’s first goal with the man advantage in 17 tries in the series, and it finally pushed Carolina ahead for good on a night when the Hurricanes squandered a two-goal lead.

No matter, though. The Hurricanes survived to fight another day in the NHL playoffs.

“I don’t care,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said of whether there was extra significance to getting the winner with the man advantage. “Not tonight. We’ve just got to get Ws at this time of year.”

The Rangers get another closeout chance Monday night with the 3-1 lead when the series returns to Madison Square Garden for Game 5.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stefan Noesen and Sebastian Aho each scored for Carolina, while Frederik Andersen finished with 22 saves as the Hurricanes try to become the fifth team to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series and first since 2014.

Everything started with Carolina showing plenty of jump in the first period, running out to 2-0 and 3-1 leads to build momentum.

“Obviously we played a lot of aggression,” said Aho, who finished a feed from Jake Guentzel from near the slot for the 3-1 lead with 4:31 left in the first period. “We kind of did what we needed to do. That was a strong start. We want to do that again (in Game 5).”

The Hurricanes tweaked their power-play unit to put Skjei on the top group. And roughly 30 seconds after a tripping penalty by Ryan Lindgren, Skjei converted the winner to send Teravainen and Aho rushing over to hug him and have a tense home crowd roaring in gleeful relief, even if Skjei felt “definitely celebration” instead.

“I feel like going into every game, you try to feel confident and feel you can be the guy to do it,” Skjei said. “Obviously it doesn’t happen every night or that often. But that’s kind of our mindset going forward here, just win the day.”

Will Cuylle, Barclay Goodrow and Alexis Lafreniere scored for the Rangers, while Shesterkin finished with 27 saves.

“It’s tough, we dug ourselves a hole early,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. “I don’t think it was because we weren’t ready to play. … We’ve got to come out a little bit sharper than that.

“We were competing, we were working, we were trying to do our job offensively. But there’s some things defensively that I thought we could’ve been a little bit better in the first period.”

New York had won their first seven playoff games after sweeping Washington in Round 1 and taking the first three of this series, and had a chance to become the first team to reach 8-0 in a postseason since Edmonton won its first nine games on the way to claiming the Stanley Cup in 1985.

Lafreniere had the Rangers within reach of that when he capitalized on a mistake by Andersen, who let his left skate extend past the post as Lafreniere skated in on the right side. As he skated toward the boards, Lafreniere bounced the puck off Andersen’s left hip, then into the net for the 3-3 tie at 2:04 of the third period that deflated the home crowd.

The series began with the potential for heavy drama considering the Metropolitan Division-winning Rangers also won the Presidents’ Trophy as the league’s top regular-season team, while the Hurricanes — in the playoffs for the sixth straight season — finished three points behind.

The tight finishes have been there with the Rangers winning 4-3 in both Game 1 and 2 — the latter in double overtime — and then taking Game 3 in Raleigh on Artemi Panarin’s OT score for the 3-2 win. But the Rangers had been winning the special-teams battle in a landslide, outscoring the Hurricanes 5-0 with four power-play goals and a shorthanded score while Carolina’s No. 2-ranked regular-season power play entered Saturday at 0 for 15 in the series.

Carolina came up empty on its first power play, but Skjei finally gave the Hurricanes a desperately needed breakthrough.

“I thought the penalty kill was still good,” Laviolette said. “They took a shot from the point, he hammered it, it had eyes. It was a tough corner shot, traffic in front of the net. There was a lot going on there.”

Continue Reading


U.S. advances at hockey worlds; Canada now 6-0




U.S. advances at hockey worlds; Canada now 6-0

PRAGUE — Dylan Cozens scored two goals and had an assist to rally Canada past Switzerland 3-2 for its sixth win in six games at the ice hockey world championship on Sunday.

Canada leads Group A with 17 points, two more than the Czech Republic in second with Switzerland another point back in third. The three teams had already clinched a spot in the playoff round.

Cozens has scored six goals at the tournament and is tied atop the scoring table with American Brady Tkachuk and Finland’s Oliver Kapanen.

Nick Paul also scored for Canada and goaltender Jordan Binnington made 20 saves including a penalty shot in the second period when the score was 2-2.

Cozens found the roof of the net on a power play 1:42 into the game to give Canada an early lead.

Switzerland answered with two goals.

Kevin Fiala wristed an equalizer past Binnington in the opening frame on a power play.

Romain Loeffel put the Swiss 2-1 up in the middle period with a slap shot from the blue line.

Cozens tied it again at 2-2 from the top of the left circle on a power play.

Paul scored the winner for Canada on a power play, completing a series of passes by scoring into an open goal midway through the second.

Canada will complete the preliminary round on Tuesday against the Czech Republic, when Switzerland will face Finland.

In Group B, Latvia prevailed over Slovakia 3-2 in a penalty shootout. The result sent the United States to the next round.

Tkachuk scored three power play goals and added an assist to help the United States rout Kazakhstan 10-1.

Its fourth victory lifted the Americans to second place in Group B with 13 points, one ahead of Germany and Slovakia with a game against Latvia, which has nine points, on Tuesday to play in the preliminary round.

Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and four assists to become the United States record scorer with 43 points, one more than Patrick Kane.

Matt Boldy scored twice and had four assists, Brock Nelson and Luke Kunin both had a goal and an assist, and Gavin Brindley and Kevin Hayes also scored.

Alex Nedeljkovic made 13 saves.

In a four-goal opening period, Tkatchuk tipped in a shot by Zach Werenski on a power play to increase the U.S. lead to 2-0, and buried a rebound to make it 4-0 on a power play.

He completed his hat trick to increase the advantage to 8-0 with a one-timed shot from the right circle on another power play in the final period.

Alikhan Omirbekov scored the consolation goal for Kazakhstan when his team was 9-0 down.

In Group A, Austria beat Norway 4-1 and is tied for fourth place with Finland.

The top four from each group advance to the playoff round.

Continue Reading


Source: Boeser (blood clots) not expected in G7




Source: Boeser (blood clots) not expected in G7

Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser is not expected to play in Game 7 of their second-round series against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday because of a blood-clotting issue, a source told ESPN, confirming a report.

There’s no timeline for his return to action. The Canucks had no comment on Boeser’s status.

Boeser didn’t skate in practice Sunday. Coach Rick Tocchet would only say at a media availability that “he needed the maintenance day.”

Boeser, 27, leads the Canucks in goals (7) and is tied for the lead in points (12) during the postseason. He established career highs in goals (40), points (73) and games played (81) during the regular season.

The Canucks winger has had some MVP moments during their playoff run. His hat trick in Game 4 against the Nashville Predators led them to a comeback win. Boeser’s three points in the first period of Game 3 led Vancouver to a win over Edmonton.

It’s the second significant injury for Vancouver in the playoffs after a regular season of relatively good health for the team’s core players. Starting goaltender Thatcher Demko, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best netminder, hasn’t played since Game 1 of the first round because of a knee injury. Edmonton won Game 6 at home Saturday night to force Monday’s Game 7, the only seventh game of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The winner faces the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference finals.

The Boeser injury news was first reported by Vancouver-based hockey journalist Irfaan Gaffar.

Continue Reading


Canes re-sign Brind’Amour off latest playoff run




Canes re-sign Brind'Amour off latest playoff run

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes re-signed coach Rod Brind’Amour and his staff to multiyear contracts, keeping one of the best in the NHL behind the bench around for the long term.

The team announced the re-signings Sunday for Brind’Amour, assistants Jeff Daniels and Tim Gleason, goaltending coach Paul Schonfelder and video coach Chris Huffine.

“Rod has been instrumental to the success we’ve had over the last six seasons,” team president and general manager Don Waddell said. “Ever since he joined the organization 24 years ago, Rod has embodied what it means to be a Hurricane. We hope to keep him a Hurricane for life.”

Brind’Amour was in the final year of a deal reached in 2021, when he was the winner of the Jack Adams Award as the league’s top coach. His status had become a talking point around the NHL as jobs changed hands, though Brind’Amour — as well as Waddell — had expressed confidence that a deal would get done.

“I never had a doubt in my mind he [would] come back,” Carolina center Sebastian Aho said earlier in the day when asked about the reports of a deal. “Not surprised, I would say.”

Brind’Amour took over in 2018 to lead a franchise that had missed the playoffs for nine straight years. The Hurricanes have gone to the playoffs six times in as many seasons under the captain of Carolina’s 2006 Stanley Cup winner. Carolina has also won at least one series in each of the past six postseasons, marking the first time a team has accomplished that since the Detroit Red Wings did it from 1995 to 2000. The Canes also reached the Eastern Conference finals twice in the past six seasons.

Carolina finished three points behind the New York Rangers for the Metropolitan Division title and Presidents’ Trophy (presented to the league’s top regular-season team), another season in which it ranked among the NHL’s top teams with an aggressive forechecking style.

The Hurricanes beat the New York Islanders in five games in Round 1 then lost to the Rangers in a six-game second-round series after falling in a 3-0 hole.

Brind’Amour, 53, arrived in Raleigh in a January 2000 trade from the Philadelphia Flyers and played there until his retirement in 2010. He then spent seven seasons as an assistant coach before taking over as a first-time head coach.

Multiple players were asked earlier Sunday about Brind’Amour’s status during end-of-season interviews. None expressed concern that he wouldn’t return or that it had been any type of distraction.

“He’s one of the main pieces that turned this organization around from where it was when I first got here,” defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. “So I think anyone would want him to stay as well. I know he wants to be here. I’m confident it’ll get done.”

Continue Reading