Rangers focused on forcing the Hurricanes to decide the game

The New York Rangers go home knowing they need a home win to continue their playoff run. The Carolina Hurricanes are still looking for their first road victory in these playoffs.

After Carolina won 3-1 Thursday night to take a 3-2 series lead, the Rangers will be looking to force a deciding game in the second-round series when they host the Hurricanes in Game 6 on Saturday night ( 8 p.m. EDT, ESPN).

“We lost a game and didn’t play as well as we could have, so I was disappointed,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said on Friday. “It’s the playoffs, that’s how it goes. We will be ready to leave tomorrow evening and that is what we are looking forward to.

“Just think about tomorrow and mind your own business.”

A must play is nothing new for these Rangers. They trailed Pittsburgh 3-1 in the first round, then won three in a row – becoming the first team in NHL history to recover from a three-game playoff deficit in a row – to to advance.

“We’ve been in this position before,” New York forward Ryan Strome said. “I like our chances at home. … We know the situation. I had a chance at home to push him to (game) 7 and that’s all we’re worried about now.

The Rangers also trailed in this series after losing the first two games in Carolina. They went home and won games 3 and 4 to even the series. Now they have to win again at home to even the series once again.

“The feeling in that locker room is super confident at all times and I think the first set helped a bit,” Strome said. “And having to win games 3 and 4 (in this series), those are pretty unmissable games and we did a good job. We can learn from these experiences.

And what those experiences have taught the Rangers is to focus on the task at hand and not worry about streaks or deficits.

“Well, you’ve got your back against the wall,” Gallant said. “You go out and play your game. You know, if you lose this game, there’s no tomorrow. We did very well this last series, I hope we can do it again tomorrow. I don’t think we’re changing anything in terms of strategy. We just go out there and play our game.”

Forward Chris Kreider agreed, adding: “We have to win a game. … Lots of things we could learn (game 5 loss) and do a better job. Learn from this and win a game. Win the first shift, win the first period and go from there.

The Hurricanes are also trying to win a game – on the road, for the first time in the playoffs. After their last win, they improved to 7-0 at home, but are 0-5 away.

Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour isn’t concerned about the team’s lack of road wins, though he acknowledges that people talk a lot about it.

“It’s not a problem,” he said. “That’s all I keep hearing about. We didn’t play badly on the road. Our game went well. There are a few things that went wrong. … We are playing against good teams. That’s how it goes.

The Hurricanes reclaimed the series lead with a strong defensive effort in Game 5, limiting Rangers to 17 shots on goal, including five in each of the first two periods.

“Is it going to transfer, obviously we hope so,” said Brind’Amour. “I don’t usually take a lot of stock from game to game, good or bad. It’s always about the next game and it takes on a life of its own, but it’s definitely the way we want to do it.

If the Hurricanes maintain their playoff trend, Game 7 would be deciding Monday night at home. But that’s not something they want to think about now.

“We’re going to do our best,” Brind’Amour said. “We will try to win (Saturday). We do every night. Nothing really changes. Obviously we don’t want to come back (home) and have another game. We will do everything to win tomorrow night.


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


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button