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Rangers lose in playoffs for first time as Hurricanes fight off sweep

Brady Skjei’s power-play goal broke a tie late in the third period to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Saturday night, extending their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

With teammate Seth Jarvis screening New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin, Skjei broke a 3-3 deadlock at 16:49 of the third with a blast from the blue line. It was the Hurricanes’ first power-play goal of the series, ending an 0-for-16 drought.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stefan Noesen and Sebastian Aho also scored for the Hurricanes. Teuvo Teravainen finished with two assists.

Frederik Andersen made 22 saves for Carolina in his return to net after not starting Game 3.

Will Cuylle, Barclay Goodrow and Alexis Lafreniere scored for the Rangers, whose seven-game winning streak to start the playoffs was snapped. Shesterkin made 27 saves.

The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead at 1:51 of the first period. Kuznetsov intercepted a Goodrow clearing pass in the neutral zone and took it to the top of the left circle before firing a wrist shot that went bar down blocker side on Shesterkin.

Noesen put the hosts ahead 2-0 at 6:33. Shesterkin saved a Teravainen shot from the left wall, but the rebound bounced into the slot, and Noesen, fresh off the bench, was there to backhand it into the net.

Cuylle cut the Rangers’ deficit in half at 8:06. Kaapo Kakko spotted him behind the Hurricanes’ defense for a breakaway, and he beat Andersen with a snap shot glove side.

Aho scored for the first time since Game 3 of the first round to re-establish the two-goal lead at 15:29. Brent Burns rimmed a pass along the right wall to Jake Guentzel behind the net, and Guentzel sent a short feed to Aho at the left hashmarks, where Aho snapped it over Shesterkin’s glove.

Goodrow pulled New York within one at 12:43 of the second period. After a failed clearing attempt by the Hurricanes, Jimmy Vesey fed Braden Schneider at the point, and Schneider fired a shot that Goodrow tipped past Andersen.

Lafreniere tied things at 3-3 at 2:04 of the third. Mika Zibanejad sent a cross-ice pass from the left side to Lafreniere, who took it to the goal line before banking it off Andersen.

Stars 4, Avalanche 1

Tyler Seguin scored a go-ahead goal late in the second period and iced it with one into an empty net as the Dallas Stars beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series in Denver on Saturday night.

Logan Stankoven also had two goals and Jake Oettinger made 28 saves for Dallas, which leads the best-of-7 series 2-1 and regained home ice from Colorado. The Avalanche’s only lead in the series was Miles Wood’s overtime goal in Game 1.

The Stars can put Colorado on the brink of elimination with a win in Game 4 in Denver on Monday night.

The game Saturday was tied 1-1 when Dallas broke out on an odd-man rush. Evgenii Dadonov stickhandled into the left circle and sent a pass to Seguin on the other side of the net, and he redirected it by Alexandar Georgiev at 15:13.

Georgiev came off for an extra skater with 1:50 left and Seguin scored his third of the playoffs at 18:23. Stankoven scored another empty-netter, his second goal of the night, at 19:32.

Mikko Rantanen scored for the Avalanche and Georgiev turned away 19 shots.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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