Ramblings: Hurricanes Extend Lead, Oilers Tie Series, Worst Picks Stone, Hamilton (May 21)

Ian Gooding


Friday featured two Game 2s, where Carolina extended its series lead while Edmonton tied the Battle of Alberta.

Hurricanes 2, Rangers 0 (Hurricanes lead series 2-0)

Antti Raanta earned his first career playoff shutout (21 saves) to ensure that the Hurricanes keep home ice advantage as they head into MSG. Raanta is rounding into form with three consecutive quality starts along with quality starts in four of his last five games. He has been especially lethal at home during the playoffs, allowing one goal or less in five of six games in Raleigh. As long as he is getting the job done, the Canes have no need to rush Frederik Andersen back.

Brendan Smith's shorthanded goal in the second period turned out to be the winner, while Sebastian Aho added an empty-net goal with just over a second left in regulation. Aho, who also regularly kills penalties, also recorded an assist on Smith's goal.

In two games in Carolina, the Rangers have scored a grand total of one goal. At least Igor Shesterkin seems to have put his first-round struggles behind him, having earned quality starts in each of his last four games. Shesterkin stopped 20 of 21 shots he faced in the loss.

This was a low-event game, so honestly there's not a whole lot else to write about.

Oilers 5, Flames 3 (series tied 1-1)

Although the offense didn't explode the way it did in Game 1, this game still featured plenty of it. There were more goals by the end of the first period of this game than there were in the entire Hurricanes/Rangers game. Not only that, but Game 2 of the Battle of Alberta had nearly double the total shots (80) of Game 2 of the Battle of the Metropolitan Division (43).

At first, it looked like déjà vu for the Flames, who took a quick 2-0 lead just six minutes into Game 2. But after that, the scoring was mostly from the Oilers, while the Flames had a more difficult time with Oilers goaltending this time. Mike Smith had a solid bounce-back game, finishing with 37 saves.

The hands,