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The Rangers-Hurricanes Game 2 battle reaches a new level for chippiness

NHL

A day that started with a conversation around Matt Rempe ended with the big man being just an extra in the most physical game of these playoffs for both teams so far.

There was Igor Shesterkin who was subbed off and almost became a participant in the ensuing scrum just 12:05 into the match.

A few minutes later, Rempe Frederik Andersen snowballed.

Rangers and Hurricanes players clash after Igor Shesterkin was knocked out by Andrei Svechnikov in the first period of the Rangers' Game 2 4-3 win over the Hurricanes in double overtime.
Rangers and Hurricanes players clash after Igor Shesterkin was knocked out by Andrei Svechnikov in the first period of the Rangers’ Game 2 4-3 win over the Hurricanes in double overtime. Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images

There was Tony DeAngelo telling K’Andre Miller, “I’ll always fight you,” which was picked up by ESPN’s microphones.

There was Jake Guentzel punching Adam Fox in the face, and Carolina felt like the defender went down a little too easily while taking a rough penalty.

There were Jacob Trouba and Dmitry Orlov who exchanged punishing goals in extra time.

This was playoff hockey, and at the end there was a 4-3 Rangers win in double overtime and a 2-0 series lead.

Afterwards, Shesterkin said of Andrei Svechnikov – who sent him flying behind his own net some four hours earlier – “It’s play-offs. No friends in a game. I just told him, ‘Let’s play hockey.’ Not to do it like this. Stupid punishments.”

And Carolina captain Jordan Staal would say of the Rangers’ penchant for taking penalties – including Fox – “Good question. It is what it is. There are penalties, but it’s hard for us to know how hard guys hit other guys. It is what it is.”

Tony DeAngelo (right) challenged K'Andre Miller to a fight during a shift change in the Rangers' Game 2 win.
Tony DeAngelo (right) challenged K’Andre Miller to a fight during a shift change in the Rangers’ Game 2 win. ESPN (2)

It can only be expected that a seven-game series with the season on the line will see increased animosity from both sides. But the tension has already risen too high early in this second round between Metropolitan Division rivals.

Things were noticeably more physical in Game 1 than during either team’s first round, but things took things up a notch on Tuesday when Svechnikov made every Ranger on the ice jump at Shesterkin’s defense and the offense was assessed for a major before the officials ruled it worth only a tripping minor.

“I think it’s normal to stick up for your goaltender, guys will jump in there,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “They know how important he is to this team and they are going to defend him.”

Rempe, presumably in response, stopped just before Andersen a few shifts after the ensuing power play, which Jack Drury objected to.

Referee Kelly Sutherland gave Rempe a call (which Svechnikov did not receive after felling Shesterkin) and No. 73 was mostly quiet the rest of the night, with his final shift coming in the second period.

But it wasn’t just Rempe who was in charge on Wednesday.

It was all the Rangers.




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