Rangers Keep Perfect Postseason Record Intact in Game 3 with Win in OT

New York improved to a stunning 7-0 postseason record with a 3-2 overtime win in Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night, putting their biggest Cup challenger on the ropes in record timing
New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Three
New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Three / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

It seems that Artemi Panarin, the New York Rangers' very own Breadman, keeps finding ways to impress the rest of the NHL. And the 32-year-old Russian superstar made no doubt of that with the overtime winner in the Rangers' 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 in Raleigh, a place they never won at in the regular season.

Panarin's GWG in OT, just a single one needed this time, unlike Game 2 back at MSG, was his 4th of the postseason, and it came just under 2 minutes into the 4th period, if you will. Much less time than the Rangers' Game 2 win this past Tuesday, where Trocheck scored at 7:24 of the 2nd overtime period to win it. Now, New York has an astonishing 3-0 series lead on arguably their biggest threat to their first Stanley Cup championship in 30 years. For those who thought this series would go the distance, guess again. This Rangers team is good. Scary good, in the words of the late great Buffalo Sabres commentator Rick Jeanneret.

Despite Carolina taking a 1-0 lead via Jake Guentzel at 10:14 of the 1st period, which was the only puck that went in during the first 20 minutes, New York fought back to tie courtesy of Chris Kreider's shorty at the 8:30 mark of period 2. Like Panarin, Kreider tapped in his 4th postseason goal with that effort. And just like the 1st period, that tying goal would be the only lamp lighter in the middle frame til Alexis Lafrenière made it 2-1 Rangers at 6:25 of period 3, his 3rd of the playoffs. Now, Carolina did tie things up again at 2 after Andrei Svechnikov's 2nd of the playoffs with 1:36 to go, but given the fact the Rangers needed less than two minutes after regulation ended to end the game, don't even call them fazed one bit.

The craziest part of this game wasn't the overtime winner by Panarin, or the fact that it was between the legs. Yeah, you heard that- that's how the Breadman sent the so-called "Caniacs" packing- with some moldy bread, given how nasty the goal was. The biggest win for the Rangers came in the stats category, even though they were trounced in total shots. Carolina took 47 total shots, while the Rangers had 25. That means the Hurricanes had almost twice as many shots as the Rangers did, which you'd think would be much better on paper, but that's not always the case. Even in regular season games, a team that has way more shots logged doesn't always win. Most of that would probably come down to desperation and running out of ideas on how to score on the opposing goalie. And with a netminder like Igor Shesterkin keeping the Rangers' guard, it's no wonder Carolina wore themselves out in the end.

Game 4 is tomorrow evening at 7 pm Eastern, much like most of this series' schedule. We'll see if the Rangers can complete an improbable and honestly unthinkable sweep of a fellow Eastern powerhouse or if Carolina pushes it to 5 games to spoil the Rangers' perfect 7-0 playoffs record. But then again, Game 5 is back at MSG, so that won't really help the Canes' case at all.