The Metropolitan Division Finals has reached its climax. After six games of back and forth action that have seen the home team send their fans home happy every game, someone’s season will end tonight. New York and Carolina will face off in a winner take all Game 7 at PNC Arena in Raleigh for the right to host the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals starting on Wednesday.
Should Carolina emerge victorious, they’ll become the first team in league history to reach the Conference Finals without winning a game on the road, as they’ve gone 0-6 thus far. If the Rangers are able to hand Carolina their first home loss of the playoffs, it will set up a rematch with the team that all but closed their previous window of championship contention seven years ago.
Player to Watch: Igor Shesterkin
Shesterkin has been brilliant throughout this second round series, and he’ll need to continue that trend for the Blueshirts to defeat Carolina tonight. Shesterkin has conceded five goals combined in the three games in Raleigh, but the Rangers have only managed to beat Antti Raanta twice in those three games. In spite of posting a strong .926 save percentage in Games 1, 2, and 5, Shesterkin has been saddled with an 0-3 record in those games. It might take a shutout to win this one, so keep an eye on Shesterkin to see if he can drag the Rangers just a little bit further than he already has.
Enjoy the game!