Three Keys to the New York Rangers Defeating the Carolina Hurricanes in Round Two

Mar 12, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov (52)
Mar 12, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov (52) / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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It's finally official. The New York Rangers will take on the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round. For my money, these are the two best teams in the NHL. The winner will likely be the cup favorite, with Carolina already being the betting favorite. That team knows it is probably in the final year of its Stanley Cup window and needs to pull out all the stops to get the elusive banner they have been chasing down south. 

For the Rangers, they are coming in as the Presidents Trophy winners. They had the best regular season of any team in the league. Madison Square Garden will potentially see four games in this series, and it will be one heck of a back-and-forth. These two organizations have played twice in the postseason. Carolina swept the Rangers in the bubble in 2020, but the Rangers got their revenge in 2022 when they beat the Hurricanes in game seven. With hostilities renewed this year, we will see two of the best teams in the league battling it out. 

New York played four incredibly disorganized games against the Washington Capitals but survived on the back of their star goaltender, dominant special teams play, and otherworldly second line. That was good enough against a team that fought into the final days to make the playoffs and had the worst goal differential of any playoff team in the last 30 years, but this Hurricanes roster is a different beast. 

Carolina seemed to struggle to overcome the New York Islanders, but the Islanders came into the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Dispatching them in five games was not a small achievement by the Hurricanes, and it set up a clash of the titans between the number one seed this postseason and the number three seed. These were two of the best clubs in the regular season, so what will stop the Rangers from winning this series?