Zibanejad leads Rangers to 3-1 win over Hurricanes in Game 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist, Igor Shesterkin stopped 43 shots and the New York Rangers defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Sunday in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.

Chris Kreider and Tyler Motte also scored when the Rangers narrowed their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven game. Game 4 is Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

It was only the Rangers’ second win against Carolina in the teams’ last 10 meetings, dating back to the qualifying round of the 2020 Toronto bubble playoffs. The Hurricanes swept that series in three games, winning three out of four in the regular season.

Nino Niederreiter scored for Carolina and Antti Raanta closed with 30 saves. The Hurricanes dropped to 0-4 on the road this postseason to go along with their 6-0 home mark.

Shesterkin had 17 saves in the first period, 17 in the second and nine in the third.

The Rangers had a 2-on-1 breakaway 5 1/2 minutes into the third period, but Ryan Reaves’ shot from the right was stopped by Raanta. Motte, who began to raise his arms in anticipation of a goal, could not contain the rebound.

Raanta then made a great save to repel Kaapo Kakko’s attempt from the right three minutes later to keep it a one-goal play.

The Hurricanes drew Raanta for an extra skater with 2 1/2 minutes to go. Less than 30 seconds later, Kreider missed a chance at the empty net, but Motte sealed it with a backhander out of the defensive zone with 1:23 left.

Kreider pushed the Rangers’ lead to 2-0 when he got Zibanejad’s puck behind the Hurricanes’ net, moved it to Raanta’s right and fired a shot past the keeper’s top shelf at 5:55 of the second. † It was Kreider’s sixth of the postseason.

Niederreiter got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard 8:18 in the second when he brought the puck to the right and put a backhander past Shesterkin for his fourth of the playoffs.

Carolina defeated New York 17-13 in the first period and had the better chances early on with a 12-3 lead in the opening 10 minutes of the game. However, the Hurricanes couldn’t get anything past Shesterkin.

Zibanejad opened the scoring with the Rangers’ first power play goal in the series. He got a pass from Artemi Panarin and fired a shot from the left circle past Raanta with 8:06 left in the first for his fourth of the postseason. It was New York’s first goal since the start of the first period of Game 1.

The Rangers, who were eliminated in Game 2, came in 0 for 5 on the power play against the Hurricanes.

SHAKE LINES

Looking for a spark, Rangers coach Gerard Gallant shook lines to start the game. Andrew Copp opened a line with Kakko and Frank Vatrano. The second line was Filip Chytil who focused on Kreider and Zibanejad. Panarin centered a line with Alexis Lafreniere and Ryan Strome. The fourth line was Kevin Rooney, Motte and Reaves.

Gallant went back to the team’s usual lines to start the third period.

TO CLIMB

Kreider’s goal earned him 47 postseason points, securing Ron Duguay ninth in franchise history.

CUT

Carolina’s Teuvo Teravainen broke a three-game point streak in which he had a goal and three assists.

Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP

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