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Mika Zibanejad Scores Twice to Lift Rangers to Game 1 Victory Over Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Rangers - Game One

(Photo : (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)) NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 05: Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period in Game One of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 05, 2024 in New York City.

The highly anticipated second round series between the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes got underway Sunday, and the Rangers got a 4-3 win thanks to their power play and center Mika Zibanejad

In a rematch of a series from 2022 that the Rangers won in seven games, things in 2024 looked quite similar to two years ago. 

That year, New York won off the strength of its special teams dominance and ability to take care of business on home ice before finally stealing one in Raleigh in Game 7.

RELATED ARTICLE: Oilers Punch Ticket to Second Round; Await Vancouver or Nashville

NHL Playoff Update: New York Rangers Take Game 1 From Carolina Hurricanes

The Rangers wasted no time starting the scoring on Sunday, when Zibanejad scored his first of the game by finishing off a nice passing play on a defensive breakdown by Carolina.

The Hurricanes answered back with a goal by Jaccob Slavin, but the Rangers took full control, as they scored two power play goals that took a combined 23 seconds on the two power play opportunities, beating Carolina to the dangerous areas and setting up high-danger chances.

That got the crowd into the game, and New York was able to protect that lead for the rest of the first period and all of the second.

The Hurricanes battled back in the third, with Martin Necas getting them within one before Artemi Panarin scored his first of the series to make it 4-2.

Seth Jarvis made it 4-3 as the Hurricanes swarmed in the final moments, even drawing a penalty to get a power play with 40 seconds left.

But Andrei Svechnikov took a tripping penalty off the ensuing face-off, getting the Rangers out of danger and allowing them to hold on for the win. 

Game 1 was more important for New York than it was for Carolina, as the Rangers held serve on home ice, but the pressure is on for Carolina ahead of Tuesday night’s second game. The Canes are great on home ice, but going back to Raleigh down 0-2 could be a recipe for disaster.

READ MORE: Hurricanes Vanquish Islanders, Set Up Heavyweight Series With Rangers

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