RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — Ian Cole beat Igor Shesterkin at 3:12 of overtime to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 2-1 Wednesday night, taking Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.
The defenseman’s second career playoff goal capped a late comeback by the Hurricanes after they trailed most of the night. Sebastian Aho finally pushed one past Shesterkin in the final minutes of the third period to send the game into OT.
Then came Cole’s rebound shot, that clipped the stick of Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren to change direction on the way toward the net before slipping past Shesterkin to end the game.
Carolina also got a key effort from netminder Antti Raanta, who had 27 saves and helped the Hurricanes hang around as the Rangers controlled play through the first two periods. His only goal given up came off a poor turnover early in the game that the Rangers’ Filip Chytil capitalized on a little more than seven minutes in on.
The Hurricanes won home-ice by claiming the Metropolitan Division title, secured with a win against the Rangers in Madison Square Garden in the final week of the regular season. They nearly handed it over to the Rangers on the series’ opening night, but now will look for a sixth straight home win this postseason when they host Game 2 on Friday night.
Both teams advanced through grueling seven-game first-round series, first with Carolina finally getting past Boston on Saturday followed by New York rallying past Pittsburgh in overtime a day later.
The Hurricanes never trailed in their series nor in their four home wins. The Rangers had to rally from a 3-1 series deficit with three straight wins, that included Shesterkin — a finalist for the Vezina Trophy for league’s top goalie and Hart Trophy for league MVP — bouncing back from surrendering 10 goals in Games 3 and 4.