Artemi Panarin’s Game 3 OT winner pushes the Hurricanes to the brink


RALEIGH, N.C. — It’s been 16 years since any NHL team has done that.

It’s been — you guessed it — 30 years since the Rangers last did this.

That’s nothing new for this Blueshirts team, which earned its seventh straight playoff win with a 3-2 overtime win over the Hurricanes in Game 3 Thursday night at PNC Arena, where the home team will now have to fight to maintain its spot. Season well and avoid being dragged into the playoff round for the second year in a row.

Game by game, the Rangers have embraced the postseason so far.

It was Artemi Panarin who showed his teeth this time in overtime, scoring 1:43 into the extra period by slipping a backhand pass from Vincent Trocheck between his legs before extending just one leg — perhaps higher than ever — on his signature celebratory kick.

“Bread talked in the locker room and then it talked on the ice,” Trocheck quipped after dishing out two assists in the win, extending his point streak to seven straight games.

Artemi Panarin (10) celebrates the game-winning goal in overtime on Thursday. Jason Szenes for the New York Post
The Rangers celebrate after their overtime win in Thursday’s Game 3 against Carolina. Jason Szenes for the New York Post

This was a win from a team that had its heart in it from the start for a special reason.

When goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin led Rangers into the warm-up, right behind him was Filip Chytil.

The Czech center took to the ice under the white hues of the arena lights to compete in his first game since suffering what is believed to be the fourth documented concussion of his seven-year NHL career.

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“I never felt better when someone hit me or I hit someone,” Chytil said with a smile that did not leave his face throughout his post-match interview. “I even got plastered in the face at one point and said to myself, ‘Yes, give me more.’”

The Rangers need just one more win to clinch the second-round series against the Hurricanes. Jason Szenes for the New York Post
Artemi Panarin and the Rangers have now won seven straight games to start the postseason. NHLI via Getty Images

Alexis Lafreniere’s breakout season also continued this season.

After taking a huge lead in the previous game, the 2020 No. 1 overall pick, once considered a flop, scored his third goal in two games off Carolina goalkeeper Pyotr Kochetkov — who had relieved Frederik Andersen of his duties — to break a 1-1 tie for third place. . period and gave the Rangers their first lead of the night.

Red-clad fans crept into the stadium’s red chairs, but rose again once Andrei Svechnikov scored the tying goal during a six-on-five lead with 1:36 remaining in regulation.

“I’ll be honest, I was really confident, just the way we were playing the game,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. “It was tough the way the game ended, but it shouldn’t be a reflection of how you get better as the game goes on. That was the message that came back there.” [for OT]. “This is a resilient group and they have been in these situations before.”

After being exhausted in the first period, Rangers played a more competitive midfield style and managed to level the score by one goal in the second intermission.

Laviolette wanted his team to do a better job of staying out of the box, but the Rangers found themselves shorthanded three times in the second half.

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The Hurricanes celebrate a Jake Guentzel goal during the first period of Game 3. Jason Szenes for the New York Post
Chris Kreider scored a shorthanded goal for the Rangers in Game 3. Jason Szenes for the New York Post

But special teams continues to swing in the Rangers’ favor in a big way.

The Blueshirts’ offensive-minded penalty kill took advantage for the third time in the postseason.

Mika Zibanejad made a great one-touch play to get the puck out of the Rangers zone and speed up the ice before slotting the puck past Chris Kreider, who sent a five-hole backhander over Kochetkov to tie the score at 1-1.

This gave the Rangers fans in attendance some excitement, as they started the song “Let’s Go Rangers!” hymn.

“I thought we did a good job with the pressure we were putting on,” said Kreider, who scored his third goal of the postseason. “On the other hand, I think they did a good job with their pressing as well. I think there are some things we would like to do a little better on our power play to take advantage of some of the opportunities we had.”

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