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Antti Raanta, Hurricanes shut down Rangers in Game 2, take commanding 2-0 series lead

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The arena was stuffy outside and hot inside at times when the game kicked off on Friday, with the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers back in business.

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It was the second game of their Stanley Cup second round playoff series. The Reeds won Game 1 at PNC Arena and the Rangers were desperate to win Game 2 to tie the game.

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But Caness, still undefeated at home in the playoffs, did not stand aside, winning 2-0 thanks to a shorthanded goal by Brendan Smith in the second period and Antti Raantha’s brilliant goal in the net. Sebastian Aho scored an empty net in the last seconds.

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The Reeds won Game 1 when defenseman Ian Cole unexpectedly became a star in overtime. Another unlikely turn of events was that Cole’s defensive partner, the same Smith, scored the winning goal.

When the Reeds scored from a penalty late in the second period, Aho made a clean-up pass and lost to find Smith passing and scoring swiftly – Aho’s pass went through the legs of defender Adam Fox.

Smith became the second defenseman in franchise history to score shorthanded in the playoffs. Mike Commodore had a shorty in Game 1 of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals against the Buffalo Sabers.

Smith’s goal with 4:06 left in the second period was the only one allowed by two goaltenders, Antti Raanta of the Canes and Igor Shesterkin of the Rangers. Raanta finished with 21 saves in his first career playoff shutout.

In Game 1, the Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the first period and held it until the end of regular time. Aho’s goal equalized and then Cole gave Canes a 2–1 win thanks to his overtime score.

In Game 2, the Reeds scored the first goal of the game and then tried to maintain and extend their lead. After shorty Smith, Carolina had a 1:03 5-on-3 lead at the end of the second period.

But the Rangers, with some active work, first killed a Kevin Rooney penalty and then made a sharp call against Chris Kreider.

Thus, in the third period there was a game with one goal.

It was difficult to find good shots, and it was difficult to navigate in the neutral zone. At one point in the second period, the Rangers went nine minutes without a hit.

Both Raanta and Shesterkin made their share of super stops. In the second, Shesterkin hit hard on Tony DeAngelo of the Canes. Raantha did his job again.

The Reeds seemed to be more dangerous on Friday 4-on-5 than 5-on-4. Teuvo Teravainen was inches away from a shorthanded goal in the first period, hitting the post from an Aho pass.

The series now returns to New York for games 3 and 4. The Reeds won three of their four games against the Rangers in the regular season, winning twice at Madison Square Garden late in the second.

The Reeds won four at home, crushing the Boston Bruins in the first round, but played sporadically, losing three times in Boston.


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