Hurricanes-Rangers: Kochetkov leads Canes to Metro Division


Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov (52) clears the puck away from New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) throughout the first interval of an NHL hockey recreation, Tuesday, April 26, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)


The Carolina Hurricanes have had one aim all season — to be one of the best, to win the Stanley Cup.

The Canes are one of the best within the Metropolitan Division, the hardest in hockey. They clinched the Metro title with a 4-3 victory Tuesday over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

They additionally did it with a rookie goalie, Pyotr Kochetkov, whose story added one other intriguing, if surprising chapter.

Had goalie Frederik Andersen not been injured 10 days in the past, Kochetkov wouldn’t have been known as up from the American Hockey League. Had Antti Raanta not been injured Sunday, Kochetkov wouldn’t have been taking part in in a 3rd straight recreation Tuesday or profitable for a 3rd straight time.

But it has been as astounding confluence of occasions, a transfer made from necessity, and Kochetkov has made essentially the most of it. Making 31 saves Tuesday in his matchup towards the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin, he joined within the post-game celebration and was among the many final to go away the ice earlier than Vincent Trocheck jumped into Jaccob Slavin’s arms, as Trocheck does after victories.

“It’s unreal,” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour stated. “It’s a great story and hopefully it continues. The way he looks, nothing fazes him. He looks like he belongs.”

The Hurricanes (53-20-8) broke a few franchise information which have stood since 2006, then the Canes had been Stanley Cup champions and Brind’Amour its crew captain. They have 53 wins and 114 factors, topping the 52 and 112 of the ‘06 crew that put the massive banner up in PNC Arena.

“You probably need to take a minute and realize it’s been a pretty good darn year and we’ve done what we wanted to do,” Brind’Amour stated. “What’s great is guys aren’t really excited about it. We know that there are bigger things we want to accomplish.

“But when we set out we wanted to be the best in 82 games and we’re at the top of our division, which is great. That’s an accomplishment and we can enjoy it for a little while and we’ll get right back at it.”

The Hurricanes have one recreation left within the common season, at dwelling Thursday towards New Jersey. Who is aware of, Kochetkov would possibly play in a fourth consecutive recreation.

Raanta, to everybody’s aid with the Canes, was not significantly injured Sunday — he left the sport with 7:03 left within the second interval — and was capable of be the backup goalie. Andersen didn’t make the three-game street journey as he continues to get better from a lower-body damage suffered April 16 at Colorado, and Brind’Amour had no replace Tuesday on his standing.

The significance of profitable the division was gaining the home-ice benefit in each the primary two rounds, if Carolina advances. The Florida Panthers, the Atlantic Division champs, lead the Eastern Conference with 120 factors.

The recreation Tuesday had Kochetkov matching saves towards Shesterkin, a Vezina Trophy candidate and probably the favourite to win. The recreation had high-skill performs and had some playoff-quality physicality and scuffles.

Trocheck, after sitting out a recreation, returned to have a aim and help and gave the Canes the sport’s first rating within the second interval off a Brady Skjei feed. That got here after the Canes’ top-ranked penalty kill had been examined by three straight penalties that gave the Rangers the possibility to take the primary lead, late within the first and early within the second.

The Canes made it 2-0 within the second when a Derek Stepan shot glanced off Jordan Martinook in entrance of Shesterkin — “It hit my big bicep,” Martinook later quipped. Teuvo Teravainen scored late within the second — his one hundredth profession aim with the Canes — and Sebastian Aho made it 4-1 within the third together with his thirty seventh of the season.

Chris Kreider scored his 52nd for the Rangers (51-23-6), who regardless of having Artemi Panarin and Andrew Copp go away the sport with accidents made it fascinating late. Jacob Trouba scored within the third and Alexis Lafreniere after Shesterkin was pulled for a sixth attacker, however there can be no tying aim towards Kochetkov.

“He’s got confidence, he’s got a little swagger to him,” Skjei stated.

This story was initially revealed April 26, 2022 9:50 PM.

In greater than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has lined the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now’s in his eleventh season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has gained quite a few writing awards on the state and nationwide degree, lined the Hurricanes’ transfer to North Carolina in 1997 and was part of The N&O’s protection of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.

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