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Brendan Smith scored a short-handed goal late in the second period while Antti Raanta finished with 21 saves to help the Carolina Hurricanes beat the New York Rangers 2-0 on Friday night, taking a 2-0 lead in their second-round playoff series.
Smith’s goal off a feed from Sebastian Aho marked his first postseason goal in nine years, and it was the difference in a tightly defended game by both teams. Aho added a clinching empty-net score to finish this off with 1.8 seconds left as Raanta held up.
Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Antti Raanta (32) watches a shot by New York Rangers’ Tyler Motte (64) pass by wide of the net during the first period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, May 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Carolina improved to 6-0 at home in the playoffs and has a 2-0 lead for the second straight round. Now they face the challenge of winning on the road for the first time in the postseason after claiming a seven-game first-round series against Boston in which no team managed a road win.
They’ll get their first chance to win at Madison Square Garden in Game 3 on Sunday.
Carolina Hurricanes’ Brendan Smith, center, celebrates his goal with teammates Sebastian Aho (20) and Teuvo Teravainen (86) during the second period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, May 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Igor Shesterkin had 20 saves for the Rangers.