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Rangers Defeat Hurricanes, Advance to Eastern Conference Final

The New York Rangers managed to knock off the Carolina Hurricanes in decisive fashion to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.
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The New York Rangers are headed to the Eastern Conference Final. 

The Rangers did what no team had managed to do this series leading up to Game 7: Win on the road. 

New York finally earned a win in unfriendly territory on Monday night, handily beating the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 6-2 to knock off their divisional rivals and move just eight wins away from Stanley Cup glory. 

While the Rangers played a phenomenal game, the Hurricanes also endured a nightmare in the process. Going down 2-0 in the first period, the Canes opened the second frame by watching goaltender Antti Raanta exit with an injury, leaving rookie Pytor Kochetkov as their lone remaining line of defense. Kotchekov didn't fare much better, allowing three goals on nine shots while the Hurricanes' defense crumbled around him. 

And when they needed them most, the Rangers' big guns showed up. 

Chris Kreider potted his seventh and eight goals of the playoffs, the latter being a beautiful breakaway goal finished off by a sneaky little deke, while Adam Fox chipped in a goal and an assist, and Mika Zibanejad racked up three assists of his own. 

In net, Igor Shesterkin was as solid as ever, allowing just two goals on 38 shots to stifle any momentum the Hurricanes could possibly muster. 

With the Conference Final now on the horizon, the Rangers must begin to prepare for what should be a grudge match between the two-time defending Cup champions. The Tampa Bay Lightning have assuredly been making the most of their extra time off, courtesy of a four-game sweep of the President's Trophy-winning Florida Panthers, and will undoubtedly be fresh as they continue to defend their crown. 

The highlight of this series will be, without a doubt, the goaltending battle. 

Both Shesterkin and Andrei Vasilevskiy are phenomenal talents who are each in the running for the title of the NHL's best goaltender. Now, the pair of Russian superstars now set to do battle on the sport's biggest stage. It doesn't get better than this.

You won't want to miss it. 

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