TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 03: Andrei Svechnikov #37 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates with Jaccob Slavin #74, Teuvo Teravainen #86 and Sebastian Aho #20 after scoring a goal against the New York Rangers in the third period of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Qualification Round prior to the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 3, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
(Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Despite giving up another early goal, the New York Rangers are back to even ground with Carolina after an Artemi Panarin snipe.

The New York Rangers signed Artemi Panarin so he could score big goals in big spots. He scored a big one in the first period, but that was the only goal the Rangers could muster.

They needed a 5-on-3 power play to get anything going offensively. New York is a paltry 1-for-11 on the power play in the series.


This was another ugly loss for the Blueshirts. Lundqvist started in net after Igor Shesterkin was deemed “unfit to play” yet again. This loss shouldn’t be put squarely on Lundqvist’s shoulders, but he allowed a couple of soft goals in this one.

The reason for Shesterkin’s absence is still a mystery. We’re left to speculate on why head coach David Quinn would hold back his best goaltender. Is he giving Lundqvist one more chance at glory? Is Shesterkin actually dealing with some kind of injury that we should be concerned about? Are the Rangers tanking the series to try and win the No. 1 overall pick in the lottery?

Again, we can only speculate on the true reasoning behind Shesterkin’s absence.

The Rangers have no business being on the same ice as the Hurricanes in this series. In each game, Carolina came out firing with an early goal and goaded the Rangers into silly penalties. The Hurricanes are outworking the Blueshirts at every turn.

The Rangers have no fight to their actual game so they have to resort to dropping the gloves when they’re down.

After such a strong showing just prior to the coronavirus shutdown, the Rangers are showing that they weren’t capable of carrying that momentum into the bubble. Perhaps they’ll steal Game 3 and force the Hurricanes to sweat this series out a little bit, but we’re not counting on it.

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.