* Igor Shesterkin achieved an NHL-first as he collected two assists to help the Rangers fend off elimination.
* The fourth and final seed in the 2022 Conference Finals will need a Game 7 to decide who moves on, as the Hurricanes will welcome the Rangers on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, Sportsnet and TVAS.
* This is the eighth postseason in NHL history to include at least six Game 7s, with the last instance coming in 2019 (also 6). The record for most Game 7s in one playoff year is seven, seen in 2014, 2011 and 1994.
* There has been at least one Game 7 in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 13 of 14 years since 2009 (with 2021 being the lone exception). Over that span, 24 berths in the Conference Finals have been decided via a winner-take-all showdown (including 2022).
RANGERS RALLY FROM ANOTHER SERIES DEFICIT TO FORCE A GAME 7 IN RALEIGH
The Rangers’ stars were shining in primetime on Broadway as Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin each scored to go along with two assists from both Adam Fox and Igor Shesterkin – yes, Igor Shesterkin – as the club forced Game 7 for a second straight series.
* Zibanejad extended his goal streak to four games (4-1—5), marking the longest run by a Rangers player since Brendan Shanahan in 2007 and one shy of the franchise record held by Cecil Dillon (5 GP in 1933). In the process, Zibanejad increased his power-play goal total in the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs to four – the most in one postseason by a Rangers player since Adam Graves set the franchise mark with six in 1996 (goals by type began being tracked in 1933-34).
* Shesterkin was all over the score sheet Saturday, making 37 saves and tacking on a penalty while finishing as one of three Rangers with multiple points. Shesterkin secured his sixth straight victory at Madison Square Garden and established a franchise playoff record for the longest home win streak by a goaltender. It also marked Shesterkin’s fourth career win when facing elimination, the second most in Rangers history behind Henrik Lundqvist (16).
* Fox improved his NHL-leading playoff point total among defensemen to 4-12—16 (13 GP) and surpassed Brian Leetch (15 in 1992) for sole possession of the fourth-most points in a single postseason by a Rangers blueliner.
* Tyler Motte (1-0—1) pointed to the rafters after he opened the scoring for New York with his second goal of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs and became the seventh player to tally each of his first two goals in a Rangers uniform during the postseason. Motte, who was emotional in his post-game interview talking about his goal celebration, has used his platform to be a mental health advocate by opening up about his diagnosis with depression and anxiety in 2019.
WILL THE RANGERS COMPLETE THEIR SECOND SERIES COMEBACK?
The Rangers tied their Second Round series at 3-3 to force a deciding Game 7 after falling behind both 2-0 and 3-2 in the series score, a story all too familiar to “Blueshirts” faithful who watched their team go down 1-0 and 3-1 to the Penguins in the previous round.
* The Rangers now have the opportunity to become the fourth team in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to win multiple series in one year after facing a multi-game deficit in each. The 2011 Bruins (2-0 vs. MTL & VAN), 2009 Penguins (2-0 vs. WSH & DET) and 2003 Wild (3-1 vs. COL & VAN) all did so.
* New York improved to 4-0 when facing elimination this postseason – the third time they have won at least four elimination games in one playoff year, a feat only three other franchises have achieved.
* In the past 10 postseasons, a team has won four or more games while facing elimination only six times – with New York accounting for half of those instances. In 2014, the Rangers posted a 5-1 record when on the verge of elimination – reaching the Stanley Cup Final – and in 2015 the club went 4-1 in that scenario. The only other instances in that span were achieved by the Canadiens (4-1 in 2021), Sharks (4-1 in 2019) and Kings (7-0 in 2014).
GAME 7 SET FOR MONDAY AT PNC ARENA
The Hurricanes will welcome the Rangers to PNC Arena for the sixth Game 7 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs – one shy of the most in a single postseason – to close out the Second Round. Carolina owns an all-time record of 6-3 (.667) in Game 7s, including 3-0 (1.000) at home; New York is 10-6 (.625), including a 2-5 (.286) mark on the road.
* The Hurricanes have won each of their past six Game 7s, a stretch that began with current head coach Rod Brind’Amour scoring the series-clinching goal in the 2006 Conference Finals versus Buffalo en route to the franchise’s only Stanley Cup championship. Carolina can become the first team in Stanley Cup Playoffs history to earn seven consecutive Game 7 wins.
* The Rangers, meanwhile, won a stretch of six straight Game 7s from the 2012 Conference Quarterfinals to the 2015 Second Round, with current Hurricanes player Derek Stepan scoring the series-clinching goal in New York’s last win.
* Jaccob Slavin (0-5—5) and Jordan Staal (3-1—4) lead all current Hurricanes players in points in Game 7s, while Mika Zibanejad (1-2—3), Chris Kreider (1-1—2), Andrew Copp (0-2—2) and Ryan Strome (0-2—2) pace all current Rangers skaters in such contests.
HOME IS WHERE THE WINS ARE
The Rangers established a franchise record for longest home win streak in a playoff year (6 GP) as the Hurricanes had their road losing streak extended to six contests. Carolina has been involved in 13 consecutive playoff games won by the home team this year, the longest such stretch in Stanley Cup Playoffs history (the previous high was 11 by the 1962 Maple Leafs & 2013 Kings).
* Only 11 series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history have seen the home team win all seven games, with the Hurricanes-Bruins matchup in the 2022 First Round being the latest (a look at the 10 instances before that).
* Only 10 series in NHL history have featured the home team win each of the first six games, but then the road team claim Game 7. The Hurricanes were the last club to break the “home team wins” trend, claiming Game 7 on the road in Washington during the 2019 First Round.
* The Hurricanes are the first team to lose each of their first six road games in a postseason and will endeavor to become the first to reach the Conference Finals without recording a victory as visitors along the way.
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