Rangers suffer first bump in playoff road, but remain in control

RALEIGH, N.C. — After losing 4-3 to the Canes in Game 4 on Saturday, the Rangers need at least one more game to wrap up their second-round series and advance to the conference finals.

If the Blueshirts’ 7-0 jubilant ending somehow makes them want to start the playoffs on a positive note, then of course the eerie similarities to 1994, a pretty famous year around here, continue. become.

Those Rangers also won their first seven postseason games, losing in a potential second-round deciding Game 4 at Washington, before defeating the Caps in Game 5 at the Garden, then defeating the Devils. Moved to war. ! ” And all that jazz.

Igor Shesterkin looks dejected after allowing the game-winning goal in the Rangers’ 4-3 loss to the Hurricanes in Game 4. Jason Suzens, New York Post

The group will sign up for something similar when the Candy Canes come to Manhattan for Game 5 on Monday.

However, this loss had the additional consequence that Adam Fox would probably not be able to get a full week of rest until the next round begins. Fox, who took leg-on-leg from Nick Jensen in Game 4 of the Washington Series on April 28, hasn’t looked completely up to par throughout the series, struggling at times in games. It looked like.

In this game, the Rangers made numerous coverage errors, both forced and unforced, and looked isolated early on, but there is no undue concern. They were trailing 2-0 at the 6:33 mark of the first half, and trailing 3-1 at the end of the first half.

But then the Blueshirts dug in, because that’s their job. They hung on and tied the score at 3-3 on Alexis Lafreniere’s bank shot at 2:04 of the third. Lafreniere was the best player on the ice by miles, but Brady Skjei got the win with a power-play clapper. He scored from the right point at 16:49, and Ryan Lindgren, who was in the box, tripped Jordan Martinook 32 seconds in.

Of course, this was the first power-play goal the Blueshirts allowed in the series after erasing their first 16-man advantage, and it came from Skjei, a former Ranger who was sent to the Canes in exchange for his first goal. . – Acquire a rounder before the 2020 deadline to ensure the club has enough cap space to extend then-pending free agent Chris Kreider.

Mika Zibanejad, who played strong, didn’t dwell on Skjei’s rocket. He also didn’t care about the holes his team jumped into early on. Instead, No. 93 focused on how the club reacted to conceding multiple goals for the first time in the competition (twice).

Mika Zibanejad fell to the ice while trying to move the puck away from Tony DeAngelo (77) and Brady Skjei (76) during the third period of the Rangers’ Game 4 loss. Jason Suzens, New York Post

“We know we’re playing a very good team. I think we’d better look at how we responded,” Zibanejad said. “That’s not what you want. You always want to get off to a good start, but after the first game we were pretty calm and we worked our way back into the game.

“We can carry that into our next game on Monday.”

Artemi Panarin didn’t have the best night — to put it kindly — and neither did Chris Kreider. Vincent Trocheck was targeted and held down throughout. They only had one chance on the power play late in the first period, but it didn’t help anything. they are allowed.

So let’s move on from here. However, Rangers have concerns, and the center of those concerns is Filip Sitil, who missed the game after waking up “ill” on Saturday morning.

Johnny Brodzinski was run over by Dmitri Orlov during the third period of the Rangers’ Game 4 loss. Getty Images

Sitil appeared to win Game 3 on Thursday after missing 188 days related to post-concussion issues. After the game he was fine. The Rangers were going to have the best lineup.

Not now, and at least not for this game.

“He felt great [Friday], went to the team meal,” head coach Peter Laviolette said hours before the game. “I woke up this morning feeling sick.”

Red flag warning.

Maybe this is a coincidence. Perhaps Chtil will catch the bug and return the next time the team skates. However, there is a history of NHL teams using “flu-like symptoms” as a euphemism for “concussion.” waiting.

And even if something bad happens to a good guy who is widely loved by his teammates, the Rangers have to get over it. That poses another obstacle. That presents another challenge.

Coach Laviolette has concerns about his players’ ice time and Matt Lempe’s officiating, and the Rangers added Johnny Brodzinski to the lineup for the first time this season. Barclay Goodrow deflected a right point drive from Braden Schneider and set up a screen to bring the club within 3-2 late in the second set.The No. 22 No. 22 got the ball within 3-2 late in the second set, and in the third set he hit a 4 for the equivalent of 3 minutes, 01 seconds. He played a total of 8 minutes and 49 seconds, including shifts.

There’s clearly a trusting relationship there. It will be interesting to see if Brodzinski remains in the lineup, or if Lempe returns as a last-minute change to what will no doubt be a noisy Garden on Monday as the Rangers look to get the job done. I think it’s Brodzinski.

The Blueshirts have been winning it every day throughout the season and tournament. That’s the nature of their mentality. He has at least one more day to navigate before we finish this series.

3 down.

There’s still one more to go.