2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Blake Wheeler, Brett Pesce, Carolina Hurricanes, Filip Chytil, New York Rangers, NHL News

Hurricanes Use Strong Third Period to Defeat the Rangers in Game 5

The Carolina Hurricanes scored four unanswered goals in the third period of Game 5 to defeat the New York Rangers 4-1. The Rangers lead the series 3-2 as the two teams head back to PNC Arena for Game 6 on Thursday.

The Rangers got on the board first in the second period when Jacob Trouba scored a shorthanded goal. He scored the second shorthanded goal by a Rangers defenseman this postseason after K’Andre Miller (Game 2 of Round 1). This marks the second postseason in Rangers history where multiple defensemen have scored on the penalty kill following 1979 (Dave Maloney & Ron Greschner).

Jordan Staal evened the game with a little over three minutes gone in the third period when he backhanded a shot past Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a little over three minutes later to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. Staal became the sixth active player with at least 10 goals in potential elimination games. He joined Chris Kreider (16), Alex Ovechkin (13), Corey Perry (10), Brad Marchand (10) and Andre Burakovsky (10).

Jordan Martinook extended the Hurricane lead at the halfway mark of the third. The Hurricanes scored three goals in the third period of a road playoff game for just the third time in franchise history, following Game 3 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers and Game 4 of the 2002 conference semifinals. The contests during the 2020 Postseason were played at a neutral site, and Carolina was the designated road team.

Martin Necas scored the empty netter to finish the dominant third period for the Hurricanes.

News and Notes

Defenseman Brett Pesce suffered a lower-body injury during Game 2 of Round 1. Head coach Rod Brind’Amour said he’s not counting on Pesce being available this series but remains hopeful that he may be able to get in at some point. On Sunday, May 12, the head coach said that Pesce skated for the first time since suffering the injury.

Related: 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Hub

Blake Wheeler (lower body) had been cleared for contact and participated in the Rangers’ morning skate in a regular jersey, but he did not play in Game 5. The 37-year-old forward had been skating with the team in a red non-contact jersey. He has not played since Feb. 15, when he was injured in the first period of a 7-4 win against the Montreal Canadiens. Wheeler was placed on long-term injured reserve the following day.

Filip Chytil was also back on the ice for the Rangers’ morning skate Monday after missing Game 4 with an illness. Head coach Peter Laviolette said Sunday that Chytil was feeling better, but the forward did not play in Game 5. He played in Game 3, his first time in the lineup since Nov. 2, when he sustained an upper-body injury in a 2-1 win against the Hurricanes.

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