Hurricanes beat Rangers 4-3, win Metropolitan Division title

Apr 26, 2022, 7:02 AM | Updated: 8:27 pm
Carolina Hurricanes left wing Teuvo Teravainen, second from right, celebrates after scoring on New ...

Carolina Hurricanes left wing Teuvo Teravainen, second from right, celebrates after scoring on New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — Vincent Trochek had a goal and an assist, rookie Pyotr Kochetkov stopped 31 shots and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 4-3 Tuesday night to win their fifth straight and clinch the Metropolitan Division title.

Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Jordan Martinook also scored for Carolina, and Brady Skjei had two assists. The Hurricanes, who won their second straight division title after winning the realigned Central Division in last year’s shortened season, set franchise records with 53 wins and 114 points, topping marks set in 2005-06.

“I think you probably need to take a minute and just realize that it’s a pretty darn good year, we’ve done what we wanted to do,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “What’s great is guys aren’t really that excited about it. They know there’s bigger things we’re trying to accomplish.”

This was matchup of the top two teams in the Metropolitan with first place within reach for the Rangers. Instead, the Hurricanes beat them for the third time in four meetings this season — including twice at Madison Square Garden in 15 days — to take the division.

“I look forward to these kind of games,” Skjei said. “This was a huge win for us. We are very pumped up that we won the division.”

Kochetkov, making his second career start and third straight appearance, had 11 saves in the first period, 11 in the second and nine in the third to improve to 3-0-0.

“It’s a great story, hopefully it continues,” Brind’Amour said of the 22-year-old goalie. “Nothing is fazing him. He looks like he belongs.”

Chris Kreider scored his 52nd goal for the Rangers, who have lost two straight and three of seven and are assured of finishing second in the Metropolitan. Jacob Trouba and Alexis Lafrenière also scored, and Igor Shesterkin finished with 31 saves.

“At times I didn’t like our game, but overall we battled back,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We know where we’re going to finish. … First, second, wherever you finish, you’re going to play a great team (in the playoffs).”

Aho pounced on a loose puck and fired a shot past Shesterkin for his team-leading 37th of the season 32 seconds into the third to push Carolina’s lead to 4-1.

Trouba pulled the Rangers back within two as he scored from the right point for his career-high 11th with 6:48 left.

With Shesterkin pulled for an extra skater, Lafrenière scored on a one-timer from the right side with 1:02 left to get the Rangers within one. It was his 18th.

After a scoreless first period, the Hurricanes took control with three goals in the second.

The Rangers had three power plays in a 7:09 stretch from late in the first period to early in the second. They managed four shots on goal on the advantages but couldn’t break through against the league’s top penalty-killing unit.

“It’s the game right there,” Brind’Amour said. “They get one there, everything changes. The crowd gets into it, we’re behind the 8-ball, the game’s totally different. That was a crucial part of the game.”

Trochek then gave the Hurricanes the lead as he beat Shesterkin with a slap shot from the left circle off a pass from Skjei — one of six former Rangers on the Carolina roster — at 7:05 of the middle period. It was his 21st of the season.

Martinook made it 2-0 with 6:12 remaining in the second as he deflected a shot by Derek Stepan, another former Ranger, from the right circle past Shesterkin. It was Martinook’s fifth.

“It got me in the big bicep,” Martinook said of his deflection.

Kreider pulled the Rangers back within one as he put a backhander past Kochetkov with 3:02 left. It tied Adam Graves (1993-94) for the second-most goals in a single season in franchise history, just two behind the record set by Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06.

“It’s a hard thing to reflect on after that game … after a loss like that,” Kreider said.

Teravainen restored Carolina’s two-goal as he skated in the left circle and beat Shesterkin for is 21st with 1:41 to go in the period.

The Hurricanes outshot the Rangers 14-11 in the first period with both goalies making several nice stops.

MCDONALD WINNER

Kreider was announced as the Rangers’ winner of the 2022 Steven McDonald “Extra Effort” Award. The award, named for the former NYPD detective shot and injured on the job in 1986, is given annually to a Rangers player selected in fan voting who “goes above and beyond the call of duty.” McDonald’s widow Patti and son Connor — an NYPD sergeant– were in attendance to present the award.

MILESTONES

Kreider’s goal was the 229th of his career, breaking a tie with Bill Cook for 10th place in franchise history. … Aho’s goal gave him 400 career points. … Teravainen got his 100th goal with the Hurricanes. … Carolina F Max Domi played in his 500th career game.

SHORT-HANDED

The Rangers were two men down in the third period after announcing forward Artemi Panarin (upper body injury) and Andrew Copp (lower body injury) would not return to the game.

“(They) should be fine,” Gallant said. “Just being cautious.”

UP NEXT

Hurricanes: Host New Jersey on Thursday night to close the regular season.

Rangers: Host Montreal on Wednesday night before wrapping up the regular season Friday against Washington.

___

Follow Vin Cherwoo at http://www.twitter.com/VinCherwooAP

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Bump & Stacy Show

AP

Chicago White Sox's Lance Lynn pitches in the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the ...
Associated Press

Leury García hits deciding RBI single in ninth for White Sox

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Leury García broke up a scoreless game on an RBI single with two outs in the top of the ninth, and the Chicago White Sox beat the San Francisco Giants 1-0 on Friday night. Gavin Sheets started the rally when he reached on a one-out fielding error by pitcher Camilo Doval […]
23 hours ago
Oakland Athletics' Sean Murphy (12) is congratulated by Christian Bethancourt (23) after Murphy hit...
Associated Press

Sean Murphy’s 2 RBIs lift Oakland to 3-1 win over Mariners

SEATTLE (AP) — Sean Murphy delivered a pair of key two-out hits, including a solo home run, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 3-1 on Friday night to snap a four-game losing streak. Murphy had a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning off Seattle starter Marco Gonzales that scored Tony Kemp to […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Charles moves into 4th in career scoring, Seattle tops Fever

SEATTLE (AP) — Breanna Stewart scored 18 of her 20 points in the first half, Tina Charles moved into fourth in WNBA history for career scoring and the Seattle Storm beat the Indiana Fever 73-57 on Friday night. Charles scored nine points to reach 6,902 for her career, passing Candice Dupree with 6,895. Tamika Catchings […]
23 hours ago
Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton runs the bases on his two-run home run against the Baltimore Orioles ...
Associated Press

Buxton’s 2-run homer in 9th lifts Twins over Orioles 3-2

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Byron Buxton hit his second game-ending home run of the season, a two-run drive off Jorge López in the ninth inning that lifted the Minnesota Twins over the Baltimore Orioles 3-2 on Friday night. “That was the big kind of exclamation point we’ve been looking for on one of these nights,” Twins […]
23 hours ago
Houston Astros starting pitcher Cristian Javier reacts after striking out Los Angeles Angels' Jared...
Associated Press

Javier fans career-high 14 to lead Astros over Angels 8-1

HOUSTON (AP) — Cristian Javier followed up his performance in a combined no-hitter last weekend with another lights-out start. Javier struck out a career-best 14 while allowing just one hit in seven innings to lead the Houston Astros over the Los Angeles Angels 8-1 Friday night for their fourth straight win. “Confidence breeds confidence,” Astros […]
23 hours ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta gestures as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run...
Associated Press

Diamondbacks cruise 9-3 as Rockies lose another pitcher

DENVER (AP) — David Peralta, Alek Thomas and Carson Kelly homered, and Merrill Kelly pitched seven strong innings Friday night to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 9-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies, who lost a starting pitcher to injury for the second straight game. Peralta added an RBI double and Thomas a run-scoring triple […]
23 hours ago
Hurricanes beat Rangers 4-3, win Metropolitan Division title