NHL Playoffs: Rangers even series with Canes, Oilers put Flames on brink of elimination
The NHL Playoffs continue to surprise as the Battle of Alberta has been one-sided, and not in favor of the team many expected to win.
Edmonton overcame a 150′ goal let in by Mike Smith to tie the game in the third period to take a 3-1 series lead over the Calgary Flames. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins played the hero on Tuesday night to put the Oilers just one game away from the Western Conference Final.
Meanwhile, after losing two close games in Carolina the New York Rangers played home-ice advantage to perfection by winning both contests at Madison Square Garden. Trade deadline acquisition Andrew Copp led the way in Game 4 over the Hurricanes to even the series with a three point performance.
Tonight, the Colorado Avalanche will look to send the St. Louis Blues packing.
NHL Playoffs: Rangers 4 vs Hurricanes 1
Andrew Copp was named the first star of the game after picking up one goal and two assists. Igor Shesterkin stopped 30 of 31 shots and the Rangers head back to Raleigh with the series even at 2 games apiece thanks to a 4-1 win at The Garden.
“I think the never-die mentality has been in this team from Day One, and I’ve kind of felt that from walking in a couple of months ago,” Copp said. “I feel like the new guys have kind of fit right in with that mentality.”
The victory on Tuesday night was the fifth straight at home for the Rangers after losing Game 1 in Triple OT to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Hurricanes have yet to win a single road game this postseason going 0-5.
New York also got goals from Frank Vatrano, Adam Fox, and Mika Zibanejad. Ryan Lindgren had a big game with two assists.
Teuvo Teravainen broke up Shesterkin’s shutout bid with 13:27 remaining in the third period. Goalie Antti Raanta posted 24 saves in the losing effort.
Game 5 is set for Thursday in Carolina and Game 6 will be Saturday in New York. If needed Game 7 is back in Raleigh on Monday.
“Really you look at the four games,” New York coach Gerard Gallant said. “It’s not just the two at home, but the four games have been pretty much one-goal games most of the way through. We are two teams that are close and battling. I just think it’s been outstanding hockey by both teams.”NHL.com
Oilers 5 vs Flames 3
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins saved Mike Smith by picking up his second goal of the night late in regulation to break a tie and send the host Edmonton Oilers to a 5-3 victory over the Calgary Flames. They are now one more win from advancing to the Western Conference Final.
“We stuck with it all game. We knew they would have a push back,” Nugent-Hopkins said. “We stuck together and didn’t turn on each other at any moment, and it shows good signs for our team.”
After Mike Smith gave up a 150′ goal from Rasmus Andersson in the third period to tie it up, shockwaves went through the home crowd. ‘Did that just happen?’ was the vibe in the building.
However, RNH was able to bang home a rebound with 3:27 left and Evander Kane secured the win with an empty-net goal to erase what occurred.
“I can laugh now, right?” Smith said. “I don’t think there’s been a time in my career where I’ve lost a puck and have no idea where it went.”
Kane scored twice in the contest to give him 12 in the playoffs. Zach Hyman added the other marker for Edmonton and Smith made 29 saves in total. Connor McDavid and Leon Driasaitl also posted two assists each.
Elias Lindholm, and Mikael Backlund were the other Flames goal scorers and Jacob Markstrom, who has been average at best in this series made 21 stops.
Edmonton will look to close out this best-of-seven series on Thursday in Calgary.
–Field Level Media contributed to this article.