New York Rangers defeat the Carolina Hurricanes to progress to round three

May 16, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) and defenseman
May 16, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) and defenseman / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Your New York Rangers are moving on to the Eastern Conference Finals after eliminating the Carolina Hurricanes in six games. A hard-fought series between the two Metropolitan Division rivals saw the winning game decided by a bit of franchise history. Chris Kreider recorded a natural hat trick to punch the Rangers ticket to round three for the second time in three years, and the Blueshirts can now turn their attention to what lies ahead. 

The Blueshirts didn't start well when Martin Necas broke the ice. A well-worked routine from the Hurricanes got him in front of the net alone after a breakdown behind the boards. Igor had no answer to a vicious shot from close range, and New York had to come from behind again if they wanted to win this game. It's something they'd done a few times but not something they could do consistently. 

Carolina's powerplay would add another one in the second period when Seth Jarvis was able to gather a loose puck that had slipped through Igor Shesterkin and slap it home. Carolina's dormant powerplay was a big reason as to why the Rangers were in such a commanding position in the series, but this was a point where they were able to tally and force the Rangers into a hole in a game that the Blueshirts really needed to win. 

Vincent Trocheck would continue to haunt his former team as he cut the Hurricanes lead in half in the second. Providing the Rangers with a spark all postseason long, Trocheck has proven to be everything the Rangers needed from their second-line center. He's been excellent and has shown he is a reliable part of this core. 

Carolina would extend their lead before the second intermission when Sebastian Aho netted another goal in this series. Carolina's most consistent playoff performer continues to show he was here to help his team progress, but that put the Rangers in a bad position. Down heavily going into the third, someone had to come up big. Someone had to be a hero for the Rangers. 

Enter Chris Kreider. 

A natural hat trick would turn this game on its head as he becomes the third Ranger ever to do that, joining Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. A fantastic effort from the Rangers winger, and the Blueshirts had the lead. Barclay Goodrow would tally the empty net goal to put the dagger into Carolina, and the Rangers defeat the Hurricanes in six games to progress to the Eastern Conference Finals.