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Handy Dandy Playoff Notebook: Win Another One on Home Ice

  • I am not saying there’s a connection, but I used a picture of Tyler Motte for the last edition of the Handy Dandy Playoff notebook... and he ended up scoring a much needed insurance goal for the New York Rangers.
  • Chris Kreider had an opportunity to score, but he hit the goalpost, and the crowd collectively gasped, but luckily Motte ended up finding the back of the net.
  • The Rangers bounced back with a victory over the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3-1, and it saw Gerard Gallant create new lines... only for him to revert to familiarity at the end of the second period and for the third period. That said, Gallant did say he’s consider some changes to his lines for Game 4, but they won’t be the combinations we saw in Game 3.
  • In other things Gallant said, the Rangers’ bench boss was less than thrilled with the shenanigans in the dying seconds of the game.
  • The Rangers have an opportunity to tie the series if they win Game 4, so truthfully I don’t expect there to be many fireworks.
  • I can see Carolina trying to bait the Rangers into doing something, but it would be foolish for them to instigate against the Hurricanes. A win vs. Carolina would make it a best 2 out of 3 series, with New York needing to find a way to win a game on the road to advance.
  • The most ideal scenario would be winning three in a row to close things out on home ice, and given how the series has gone to this point, the Game 1 loss stings just a bit more. But once again, it is important to take things one at a time.
  • As for Game 3... it was nice to see the good players play good. Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider scored much needed goals, and it felt like weights were lifted off their shoulders.
  • That said, Carolina pushed hard toward the end of the game, and Igor Shesterkin was up to the task to keep the Rangers in the game.
  • Despite having such a strong performance vs. Carolina, one thing that was on Shesterkin’s mind during the postgame was the goal he gave up to Nino Niederreiter.
  • The goal was certainly a weak one that he’d normally stop 99 out of 100 times, but it just speaks to his competitiveness and attention to detail that even after such an amazing performance that’s what he chose to focus on. It is very familiar...
  • And for that reason... the Rangers need to take full advantage of what they have going for them. Carolina has shown that they are a team that can be beaten, and the Rangers have an opportunity to learn from what went wrong in the series vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins.
  • It took a lot of energy, luck, and bounces for the Rangers to complete the comeback from 3-1, and the odds of them doing that again would seem slim.
  • The Rangers still haven’t had that complete game of the playoffs yet, Game 1 was close, and Game 4 represents to an opportunity to keep the momentum in their favor going. I’ll be interested to see what lines Gallant has in mind, because the current strategy of trying so survive playing low event hockey is quite a risky proposition.
  • The Hurricanes got into trouble vs. Boston by taking too many penalties. There hasn’t been a game yet in which the Rangers’ power play has gone off for a bunch of goals, and in the event fireworks do fly as a carry over of Game 3, they better capitalize.
  • Tonight is another big opportunity for a young Rangers team in their first trip to playoffs in five years. A chance to keep momentum moving in a positive direction, and a chance to tie the series before heading back to Carolina. Let’s see if the Rangers are up to the challenge.