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2022 Playoffs: Second Round, Game #5: New York Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes Open Thread

New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Two Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Metropolitan Division Finals are down to a best of three. After dropping the opening two games in Raleigh, the Rangers came home to New York and took care of business by winning Games 3 and 4 to knot the series up at two wins each. The scene of the action shifts back to North Carolina tonight, and the Blueshirts will need to change up an alarming trend if they want Game 6 to be an elimination game for the Hurricanes rather than themselves.

Home teams are 9-2 in the eleven games New York has played thus far in the playoffs, and 11-0 in games played by the Hurricanes. With Carolina holding home ice advantage, the Blueshirts will have to win a road game in order to make it to the Conference Finals, and tonight would be a good time to do just that.

Player to Watch: Mika Zibanejad

Zibanejad’s performance in this series has also radically differed at home and on the road. In Raleigh, Zibanejad has primarily been matched against Jordan Staal’s line, and Carolina’s defensive stalwart held Zibanjead off the scoresheet in the first two games of the series. When the scene shifted to New York and the Rangers had last change, Zibanejad was freed from that matchup for the most part, and responded with two goals and an assist in New York’s wins. If the Rangers want to steal a win on the road, a strong performance out of their top center will go a long way towards accomplishing that, so keep an eye on Zibanejad.

Enjoy the game!