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NEW YORK RANGERS

NEWS UPDATE: Heartbreaks head coach was fired today Peter Lavviolette

When the Rangers took the ice for their first power play of Game 1 of Round 2 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden, the dominance with which they’ve been playing with the man-advantage reflected in their confidence with the puck.

It resulted in one of the most gorgeous power-play sequences the NHL has seen this season, maybe in the past 10 seasons.

All it was, really, was a simple continuation of what the Rangers’ special teams have done all regular season and postseason.

The intention with which the Rangers worked the puck around the zone was unstoppable, fueled by the skilled hands that created it, as each skater touched the puck before Mika Zibanejad buried it for the lead en route to a 4-3 victory over the Hurricanes.

“They’re unbelievable,” Braden Schneider said. “When you’re on the bench, you’re like, ‘Oh my God.’ It’s unbelievable. Two behind the back passes and then a goal. It’s fun to watch. You’re like, ‘Oh my God,’ but then you’re like, ‘Ah, we’ve seen it before.’ They’ve been unbelievable and they’ve really stepped it up in the playoffs here.”

Special teams were always going to play a major role in the series, considering that both teams finished among the top three teams in both categories, with the Hurricanes owning a slight edge.

The Rangers flexed early in this series, going 2-for-2 on the power play and fending off all of the Hurricanes’ five power plays.

That included a very brief 6-on-4 disadvantage in the final 40.5 seconds of the game, which was negated when Andrei Svechnikov tripped Ryan Lindgren at the tail end of regulation.

Vincent Trocheck, who swapped jerseys since the last time these two clubs squared off in the playoffs in 2022, cleaned up a rebound on the Rangers’ second man-advantage opportunity to make it a 3-1 game.

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