After defeating the Hurricanes, Kreider’s three-period hat trick propels the Rangers into the Eastern Conference Final.

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The New York Rangers, who had an undefeated record going into the NHL playoffs, found it difficult to wrap up a second-round series even though they had a commanding lead.

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Even worse, they were down going into the third quarter and might have to play a seventh game.

Rather, Chris Kreider assumed command to guarantee that the victors of the Presidents’ Trophy ultimately shut out the Carolina Hurricanes and secured their place in the Eastern Conference Final.

The Rangers overcame a two-goal deficit and defeated the Hurricanes 5-3 in Game 6 on Thursday night thanks to a hat trick from Kreider in the third period. This was a spectacular comeback for the team whose postseason momentum had clearly gone south.

We speak about being a competitive and resilient group, and I think we demonstrated that tonight, Kreider added.

Entering the final period, the Hurricanes had a 3-1 lead, but Kreider erased it all by himself. At 15:41, he obtained position on Jalen Chatfield at the top of the crease and tipped in Ryan Lindgren’s pass to make it 4-3. This completed the natural hat trick and gave the team the lead.

Kreider became the first player since Mike Gartner in 1990 to score three goals in a series-deciding match. He was also the third Rangers player to do so. It brought back memories of renowned captain Mark Messier’s “guarantee” game from the 1994 Eastern Conference Final versus New Jersey, in which Messier scored a hat trick in the third period after declaring that the Rangers would force a seventh game. That season, the Rangers won both the series and the Stanley Cup for the first time.

The Rangers overcame the Hurricanes, who had won two games in a row after falling behind 3-0 in the best-of-7 series, thanks to Kreider’s heroics. The Hurricanes were poised to force a decisive Game 7 but were unable to stop the Rangers’ comeback in the last 14 minutes.

The former Hurricane who deflected the first goal for the Rangers in the second period, Vincent Trocheck, remarked, “We just had to go out there and make a decision in the third period.” Either participate in the series and play along, or don’t. In the third, I believe we had twenty guys show up.

In the final minute, Barclay Goodrow put an end to this one by snagging a stray puck close to the boards and scored a long empty-net goal. Goodrow was then surrounded by teammates as he went to the neighboring Rangers bench.

The Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference Final to play the winner of the Boston-Florida series, which the Panthers are currently leading 3-2.

At 6:43, Kreider scored his first goal when he slammed the puck past Frederik Andersen’s left skate, who had stopped Mika Zibanejad as he skated in close to the right post. At 11:54, he tied the score at 3 by tipping in a shot by Artemi Panarin on a power play.

“After they got that one, their best players took over in the third quarter,” stated Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour.

After facing pressure in the first two periods, Igor Shesterkin persevered, finishing with 33 saves. In the third period, he denied a tying chance to Andrei Svechnikov after winning a faceoff.

Carolina’s goals came from Seth Jarvis, Sebastian Aho, and Martin Necas; Andersen finished with 19 saves.

Jordan Martinook, who had a highlight-reel sliding attempt to punch away a loose puck from the goal line halfway through the second period, and Jake Guentzel both pinged the metal past Shesterkin to come up empty as the Hurricanes squandered numerous late opportunities to extend their lead.

In the third period, Aho had a great opportunity when two Rangers collided and went to the ice in their own end, giving him a one-on-one with Shesterkin. However, Aho attempted to skate to his backhand but went wide right of the net as he entered from the left circle.

The Hurricanes, who were in the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season under Brind’Amour and had been upfront about their aim of breaking through to win the Cup, had a cruel departure as a result of those wasted opportunities.

According to Bet MGM Sportsbook, Carolina began the NHL playoffs as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup, finishing three points behind the Rangers for the Presidents’ Trophy, which is given to the top team in the regular-season standings. The Rangers, however, threatened an unexpectedly rapid resolution amid a 7-0 postseason start after sweeping Washington in Round 1. They did this by winning the first three games by one goal margins, two of which came in overtime.

Carolina survived by effectively overcoming their power-play woes for the winner of Game 4, then overcame a 1-0 deficit with four goals in a row in the third period to win Game 5 at Madison Square Garden and send the series back to Raleigh.

Days later, the Rangers paid it forward in the third, shocking the loud Hurricanes crowd with four straight of their own. The Rangers defeated the Hurricanes at home in the second round for the second time in three seasons; the 2022 victory required seven games.

Brind’Amour remarked, “This puts a tough way to end a really good year.” “During the entire year, these individuals gave it their all. However, this is what you will recall. That is the challenging aspect.

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