Rangers lose their first game of the playoffs in game 4 as the Hurricanes hold on

May 11, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns (8) skates
May 11, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns (8) skates / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

New York has dropped its first game of the postseason. They come up short against the Carolina Hurricanes in game four, allowing them to force game five at Madison Square Garden early next week. As the series shifts back to New York, there's no pressure on the Rangers moving forward. Game five becomes a game the Rangers would like to win and get this series over quickly, but they have a home-ice advantage regardless of what happens at MSG Tuesday night. 

It started poorly for the Rangers when Evgeny Kuznetsov was allowed to snipe one over Igor Shesterkin's shoulder. That wasn't a good look, but Jacob Trouba also seemingly swung his elbow out at the Russian forward as he tried to release the puck. For the second game in a row, the Rangers captain has done something that looks indefensible. He's not been good in this series and is now trying to get himself suspended. 

Carolina would extend its lead soon after when Igor was beaten again. Anthony DeAngelo was able to get the puck in deep for Teuvo Teravainen. Teravainen was able to create enough room to throw the puck out in front, where it bounced out into the high slot for Stefan Noesen, who was joining the attack from the bench after a good change by the Hurricanes. He buried the bouncing puck, and the Rangers were in a deep hole early. 

New York would grab one back before the halfway point of the first period when Will Cuylle could walk in on Frederik Andersen alone. His shot hit the st on the glove side as it beat the Big Dane, and the rookie's first career NHL playoff goal got the Rangers on the board. There is still a lot to do for the Rangers, but it is a good start. 

That didn't last long, as Carolina would extend their lead soon after. Brent Burns got the puck deep around the boards, and it fell to Jake Guentzel's stick. Carolina's expensive deadline acquisition found Sebastian Aho gliding through the slot, and the Finnish centerman beat the glove of Igor Shesterkin to extend the Hurricanes' lead once more. 

In the second, New York would cut into the lead when a point shot from Braden Schneider went through everything as it hit the post on the way in. It found a seam through the bevy of humanity parked in front of Frederik Andersen and kissed the iron on the way in. It's still a game in the balance at this point, but the Rangers still need to be better as the Hurricanes continue to dominate the play of the game. 

Early in the third period, Alexis Lafreniere would find a way to tie the game. A shot from behind the net banked off the back of Andersen and bounced into the net as Lafreniere played pinball with the Hurricanes' netminder. It was a really clever shot from the man having a breakout year for the Rangers, and it's a tie game once again. 

With less than 4 minutes to go in the game, Carolina would score the winner. Their first powerplay goal of the series would come from a Brady Skjei point shot deflected by Seth Jarvis cruising through the slot as the number two powerplay from the regular season finally shows its teeth in this series. Carolina stays alive to force game five back at the Garden on Tuesday night.