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Everyone knows what Carolina does and how they do it, and it’s generally treated as a given that you can’t completely stop the Hurricanes from running up the shot count.

And there were the Rangers after Game 1 of the second round, having dealt with the inevitable barrage of … 25 shots on net.

So maybe barrage is the wrong word, especially when a chunk of those looks came with the Hurricanes skating with an empty net in the waning minutes of a 4-3 Rangers victory.

Adam Fox (R.) battles for the puck during the Rangers’ Game 1 win over the Hurricanes on May 5,, 2024. NHLI via Getty Images

With Adam Fox ultimately playing after a weeklong scare and K’Andre Miller showing no sign of issues after taking a puck to the mouth in practice on Saturday, the Rangers went out and put together an exceptionally tight defensive effort against a side whose calling card is shot generation.

“It seemed like we did a pretty good job,” Ryan Lindgren said. “I thought the wingers did a great job of getting in lanes in front of their defensemen. They like to shoot a lot of pucks, obviously. The wingers got out there and got in lanes. That’s always huge. Just the D-Zone in general seemed like we were playing hard and made it hard on them.”

This was not only a triumph in keeping the Hurricanes out of the danger areas and winning battles around the net, though the Rangers did do that in this Game 1 victory to open the second round.

This was a triumph in shot suppression from everywhere on the ice and making the afternoon simple for Igor Shesterkin.

Expected goals, meet defensive structure.

“I don’t know how many shot attempts, how many blocks did they have. Sometimes you gotta look at that more than your shots on net,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We put a lot of pucks there, they did a good job getting in front of them and they missed the net on some, but yeah, you want more quality chances.”

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It wasn’t just at five-on-five, either.

The Rangers gave up four power plays to Carolina, over which they generated nearly as many shots as the Canes.

Then they gave up a fifth, defending a one-goal lead with 40 seconds to go, and Carolina immediately negated it with Andrei Svechnikov tripping Lindgren.

K’Andre Miller (L.) looks on during the Rangers’ Game 1 win over the Hurricanes on May 5, 2024. NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers’ penalty kill allowed the Hurricanes no quarter inside, bogged them down on the walls and got the puck up ice at every opportunity.

The pair of power-play goals the Rangers scored were important. This was just as big.

“Huge blocked shots in front of me,” Shesterkin said after making 22 saves. “Guys play great. And they did everything for me. Box out, block shots, huge job.”

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