NHL Playoffs: Hurricanes blank Rangers, Oilers drop Flames to even series

NHL Playoffs Hurricanes
May 20, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith (7) celebrates his goal with center Sebastian Aho (20) against the New York Rangers during the second period in game two of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL Playoffs saw the Battle of Alberta pull to even thanks to the key Oilers’ offseason acquisition Zach Hyman.

They were desperately looking to gain a split in Calgary before the scene shifted to Edmonton. The Flames even held leads of 2-0 and 3-1 before Connor McDavid went to work to start the comeback which Hyman ultimately finished.

Game 3 will be Sunday at Rogers Place.

Meanwhile, it was basically the same old story for the New York Rangers in Carolina. With their offense all dried up, the Hurricanes got a shorthanded goal from former Rangers defenseman Brendan Smith to find themselves in a 2-0 series hole.

Game 3 is set for Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

NHL Playoffs: Hurricanes 2 vs Rangers 0

Defenseman Brendan Smith scored a short-handed goal in the second period to fuel the host Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series in Raleigh, N.C.

“We have a good defense. We have a really solid group back there,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “You’re going to have to earn your chances against us for the most part. Both teams, we’re not getting much going the other way either. Both teams are fighting for every inch out there. It’s playoff hockey, and both teams are laying it on the line.”

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Former Rangers backup goaltender Antti Raanta registered his first career postseason shutout by making 21 saves for the Hurricanes, who seized a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 3 is on Sunday afternoon in New York.

Sebastian Aho set up Smith’s goal before sealing the win by scoring into the empty net with two seconds to play in the third period.

Carolina has won its first six playoff games in 2022 to set a franchise record for the longest postseason-opening home winning streak, besting its 5-0 mark in 2019.

Vezina Trophy finalist Igor Shesterkin finished with 20 saves for the Rangers, who mustered just two shots on goal while going 0-for-4 on the power play.

“I’m happy with the way we performed overall,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “I wish we would have got one of these two games, we probably could have. That’s the way it goes. Play well, play hard, we’ll find a way to get another win.”

Oilers 5 vs Flames 3

nhl playoffs oilers
May 20, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Zach Hyman (18) celebrates his goal against the Calgary Flames in the third period in game two of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Saddledome. Oilers won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Hyman scored the game-winning goal with Edmonton short-handed midway through the third period, and the Oilers evened their Western Conference semifinal series with a 5-3 road victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday.

“You’ve got to stay even-keeled because it’s hockey, and some nights bounces are going to go your way and some nights they’re not,” Hyman said. “We’ve had kind of a roller coaster season where our backs have been against the wall, and our ability to push back has been second to none on any team I’ve been on.”

The best-of-seven Battle of Alberta is tied 1-1 going into Sunday’s Game 3 in Edmonton.

With the score tied 3-3, Hyman was sprung on a breakaway and lifted a glove-side shot with 9:46 remaining in regulation to collect his fifth goal of the playoffs.

Two minutes later, Leon Draisaitl added another breakaway tally, sprung by goaltender Mike Smith, his seventh marker of the playoffs to cap a three-point outing.

Duncan Keith and Connor McDavid each added one goal and one assist for the Oilers, and Evan Bouchard also scored. Smith made 37 saves in a bounce-back performance from the opener, a 9-6 Calgary win.

Michael Stone, Brett Ritchie and Tyler Toffoli replied for the Flames. Johnny Gaudreau had two assists, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 35 shots.

The Flames blew a 3-1 lead and have now dropped 13 consecutive Game 2 clashes in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article