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Skjei Resolves Carolina’s Power-Play Struggles, Propels Hurricanes To 4-3 Victory Over Rangers, Extending 2nd-Round Series

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The Carolina Hurricanes transformed their last stand into a season-prolonging triumph. Remarkably, it was their struggling power play that propelled them to victory.

Brady Skjei netted a power-play goal with just 3:11 remaining, aiding the Hurricanes in clinching a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night, averting a sweep by securing Game 4 of the second-round playoff series.

Skjei’s precise shot from the point, assisted by Tuevo Teravainen, found its mark in the upper-right corner of the net past Igor Shesterkin. This marked Carolina’s first power-play goal in 17 attempts in the series, ultimately securing their lead on a night where they initially relinquished a two-goal advantage.

Nevertheless, the Hurricanes managed to survive, leaving to fight another day in the NHL playoffs.

With a 3-1 series lead, the Rangers will have another opportunity to close out the series on Monday night as the action returns to Madison Square Garden for Game 5.

Carolina saw goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stefan Noesen, and Sebastian Aho, with Frederik Andersen making 22 saves as the Hurricanes endeavor to become only the fifth team in NHL history to come back from a 3-0 deficit and win a playoff series, the first since 2014.

The momentum for the Hurricanes began early in the first period, where they surged to 2-0 and 3-1 leads, setting the tone for the remainder of the game.

To address their power-play struggles, the Hurricanes made adjustments to their unit, elevating Skjei to the top group. Shortly after a tripping penalty by Ryan Lindgren, Skjei capitalized, securing the winning goal and igniting celebrations from teammates Teravainen and Aho, along with an ecstatic home crowd.

Reflecting on his crucial contribution, Skjei expressed his confidence and determination to seize such opportunities in crucial moments.

While the Rangers had dominated the series initially, winning their first seven playoff games, the Hurricanes’ resilience and timely adjustments proved pivotal in extending the series.

The series began with high stakes, featuring the Metropolitan Division-winning Rangers against the favored Hurricanes, who entered the playoffs as Stanley Cup favorites.

Despite the tight finishes in previous games, with the Rangers edging out wins in Games 1 and 2 and clinching Game 3 in Raleigh, the Hurricanes managed to break through their power-play struggles, providing a much-needed breakthrough in Game 4.

“I thought the penalty kill was still good,” Laviolette said. “They took a shot from the point, he hammered it, it had eyes. It was a tough corner shot, traffic in front of the net. There was a lot going on there.”

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