Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper praised his side's ability to stay calm, after they snatched a 3-2 win from the New York Rangers in Game 3 on Sunday.

The Lightning were down 2-0 in the second period after power-play goals from Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, but they rallied and Ondrej Palat scored the winning goal with 42 seconds remaining in the game.

After losing the first two games in the Eastern Conference finals, Cooper's side cut the series deficit to 2-1 with the win, keeping their hopes to retain the Stanley Cup alive.

The Lightning coach asserted his side could draw on extensive playoff experience in fighting back from losing position.

"We've been in spots like this," Cooper said post-game. "The big thing for us was, I felt like we had a recipe, we just had to stay with it. I think there are times in this series, we've tried to manufacture things that weren't there, that put us on our heels and gave up opportunities.

"Whether it was a break, whatever you want to call, we weren't in sync. Today we were down 2-0 and I don't want to sit here and say we didn't deserve to be down 2-0 because their power plays have been great, but our five-on-five game I liked.

"We just needed to stick with that and stay out of the box. I think in years past, maybe, panic would have set in at some point – definitely not with this group. No question, being there before, it's really helped us."

Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos were able to restore parity for the reigning champions, before Kucherov provided the crafty assist for Palat in the final minute.

Game 4 is on Tuesday, with the Rangers looking to make their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals since 2014.

Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar confirmed Nazem Kadri will be out for the rest of the series as his side moved one win away from the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday, defatting the Edmonton Oilers 4-2

The Avalanche claimed an all-important 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference playoff after a frenetic third period, with J.T. Compher and Mikko Rantanen scoring in the final exchanges.

It was overshadowed by Evander Kane's hit on Kadri however, with the Avalanche's two-way threat cross-checked from behind, flying head-first into the boards.

Kane was given a five-minute major penalty for the hit but surprisingly was not ejected from the game. The Avalanche defended stoutly to secure the win, but Bednar confirmed post-game they will go without Kadri in securing the series.

"Yeah, he's out. He's out," Bednar said post-game. "He'll be out for the series at least, if not longer.

"I mean, the hit, it's the most dangerous play in hockey - puts him in head first from behind, eight feet from the boards. I'll leave it at that."

Connor McDavid had a clear opportunity to give the Oilers the 3-2 lead with 8:17 remaining and in the power play, shooting from just inside the hash marks in the left circle but a brilliant glove save from Pavel Francouz critically kept the score tied.

The Oilers then hit the post a minute later but racing out of the penalty box, J.T. Compher was able to spring the Avalanche into transition, scoring his fifth goal of the playoffs to give the Avalanche the lead instead.

Mikko Rantanen sealed the victory with under a minute remaining, forcing the loss of Oilers' possession before scoring an empty-net goal.

The Avalanche will have a chance to sweep the series on Tuesday, to face the winner of the series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers.

The New York Rangers held serve at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, holding on for a 3-2 win to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

It was the Lightning who struck first, with Nikita Kucherov taking advantage of an early power play to put the reigning back-to-back Stanley Cup champions ahead 1-0 less than three minutes in.

But the lead would be short-lived, with K'Andre Miller squaring the ledger less than five minutes later, before Kaapo Kakko gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.

In a clash between arguably the two greatest goaltenders in the game – New York's Igor Shesterkin and Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy – the second period was a 20-minute scoreless stalemate, setting up a thrilling third frame.

However, much of the drama was sucked out of the contest when New York's Mika Zibanejad gave the Rangers a 3-1 buffer just two minutes into the period, and Shesterkin was determined to see it out.

A late Nicholas Paul goal set up a frantic final two minutes, but the Rangers' defense held firm, securing the win.

With the win, the Rangers snapped a streak of 17 consecutive Lightning wins following a playoff loss, with their last back-to-back playoff losses coming in April, 2019.

Speaking to the media after the win, Rangers defenseman Adam Fox – who had two assists – said his side are good at playing spoiler.

"We heard all year that [we weren't] really going to have playoff success," he said. 

"We’ve said it all year, the belief in the room is high and the outside opinions isn’t really affecting anyone. 

"Coming from down 3-1 [against the Pittsburgh Penguins], down 2-0 [against the Carolina Hurricanes] and [the Lightning] obviously had a good playoff streak of not losing back-to-back games, but that’s not really in our minds coming into the games.

"We're not thinking about what streaks teams have or how they've done earlier. It's right now, and we're just trying to bring it day in and day out.

"We did a great job limiting them, especially in the first two periods. We didn't make too many mistakes… [and] when we needed those big saves, we got them at the end, as usual."

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant called it "a huge win".

"It's a huge win for us, but we just get ready for the next one," he said. 

"The way we played the last two games, that's the way we're going to have to play to win the series. We want to battle hard, we want to compete hard and we've been a tough out so far.

"We knew they were going to push real hard... [but] we battled, we found a way. We're playing against a real good team over there. They pushed it, we made some key saves at the end."

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said his side was punished for their mistakes, but he hopes they will carry some momentum into the next fixture back in Tampa Bay after dominating the last 15 minutes.

"We haven’t executed the proper way that got us here," he said. 

"They are a skilled team and make you pay. We found some momentum at the end – we have to carry that over."

Edmonton Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft rued a critical three-goal second period after his side went 4-0 down to the Colorado Avalanche in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday.

Nazem Kadri had three assists within the space of 2:04 as the Avalanche broke the game open and took a commanding 2-0 series lead, in a departure from Game 1's 14 goals and 84 shots.

The free-scoring Oilers were reduced to 24 shots for the night, with the two points leaders for this year's Stanley Cup playoffs in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl kept quiet by the Avalanche.

Despite the second period, Woodcroft believes there is still cause for encouragement as the series heads to Canada.

"I thought it was a really competitive first period," he said post-game. "I thought we laid it on the line, especially finding ourselves down short-handed six minutes or so into the first period.

"We pushed back, we generated some offence, and that little span in the second period really hurt us. It took the wind out of our sails and we weren't able to generate what we wanted to as the game wore on.

"I think we've had some chances – not as much as we'd like – but we're in the final four and the other team does some good stuff too. There's more to be had there. We can do a better job of shooting the puck and shooting through structure."

Kadri tied GM Joe Sakic's franchise record from 1996 for most assists in a period, setting up Artturi Lehkonen and Josh Manson in the space of 15 seconds, before providing the pass for Mikko Rantanen.

Nathan McKinnon scored his sixth goal of the playoffs late in the third period, moving to a team-high 16 points over the Avalanche's three series.

New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant was full of praise for Filip Chytil's performance after his side's 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in their series opener on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old scored twice and was one of six Rangers players with two points on the way to defeating the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

Chytil made it 3-2 at a critical juncture, at 10:09 of the second period, scoring from the left circle off a pass from Kaapo Kakko, who was behind the net.

The Czech center broke the game open and scored his second from the right circle to make it 4-2, handing the Rangers their first series lead in these playoffs, and their head coach was evidently impressed.

"He's growing up to be a man," Gallant said post-game. "Every time he goes out there, he's more confident. He's stronger. He's growing up."

"A lot of sharpness. Our team just kept going. We got a day off and kept playing. Obviously, they [the Lightning] looked rusty."

Chytil has scored eight goals in his previous two regular seasons for the Rangers, but has now contributed seven goals for the team in 15 games over the 2022 playoffs, trailing only Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad.

Zibanejad, however, only trails the free-scoring Edmonton Oilers duo of Connor McDavid (29) and Leon Draisatl (28) for points over the playoffs with 21.

The Eastern Conference final stays in New York for Game 2, with the two teams facing off at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

 

Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar asserted he was not overwhelmed as hide claimed an historic win on Tuesday, defeating the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their playoff series.

The Avalanche's win was the first playoff game in NHL history in which both teams allowed six or more goals, while using multiple goaltenders.

The opening game of the Western Conference final was played at an entertaining but frenetic pace, as both teams moved the puck with astounding fluidity.

According to Bednar, especially following the Oilers' high-scoring series win over the Calgary Flames, it was something his side anticipated and adapted well to.

"I didn’t feel helpless at all," Bednar said post-game. "I thought our guys did a nice job getting above pucks, shutting down the rush. The pace we expected no question, it's the fastest team we've played against, obviously a lot of talent.

"There's areas of our checking game that I really liked, there's a couple of other ones that I didn't that we'll look at and talk about.

"I thought we were doing a nice job on the offensive side of things, even in the third period when we had two breakaways, another great seam pass that we missed on. We were generating, we were shooting the puck, we were staying assertive, just have to make a few less errors on the other side of it."

Goals were expected between the two highest-scoring teams in this year's playoffs for the Stanley Cup, and the stars of the show did not disappoint.

Nathan MacKinnon claimed a goal and an assist for Colorado, while coming off his overtime winner in Game 7 against the Flames, Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists for the Oilers.

Nazem Kadri, Mikko Rantanen and Andrew Cogliano also scored for Colorado, but the result wasn't secured until Gabriel Landeskog's empty-net goal late with less than a minute to go in the third period.

The New York Rangers triumphed 6-2 away from home in Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, securing their spot in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It is the second consecutive series that the Rangers have had to come from behind in – coming back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3, before falling behind 3-2 against the Hurricanes and winning back-to-back games with their season on the line.

For a Game 7, it was relatively painless for New York, with first-period strikes to Adam Fox and Chris Kreider, before a Ryan Strome goal made it 3-0 Rangers at the end of the second period as goaltender Igor Shesterkin proved impenetrable early.

With the Hurricanes desperate for an early one in the third term, Kreider stuck the dagger in with his second goal to make it 4-0. Carolina finally got their first goal eight minutes into the last period through Vincent Trocheck, but any dream of a comeback was extinguished less than a minute later by Filip Chytil's reply.

Kreider, after scoring twice, was quick to pass the spotlight to who he felt was the match-winner, and highlighted how his Rangers refuse to lie down.

"Obviously, our goaltender [Shesterkin] was once again our best player," he said.

"I've kind of referred to us as cockroaches. We just didn't go away. 

"That's always been ingrained in the culture of every good team I've been on here. We just don't go away, regardless of the score and regardless of where the game is."

Also praising Shesterkin, Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said: "He made some key saves at key times – he made that 2-0 lead in the first period stand up."

Shesterkin himself said the early lead took the pressure off, and looked forward to his match-up against compatriot Andrei Vasilevskiy in net for the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"We scored two quick goals and it helped me so much,' he said. "I just tried to [do] my job – stop the puck.

"[Vasilevskiy] is the best goalie in the world right now. I think it'll be a good battle."

Speaking to ESPN while still on the ice, Fox touched on the toughness of his side after now moving to 5-0 in elimination games this postseason.

"I think we're a resilient group," he said. "We're a young group, we have a lot of faith in each other in there, and when our backs are against the wall it seems like it brings out the best in us.

"These past two games have been a full-team effort, it took everyone to contribute, and I couldn't be prouder of the team.

"Maybe we're a little naive in there – we're just coming to play. We've got a young group, but guys who have been through it, too. 

"We don't want our season to end, and I think we just go in with that mentality, and its worked for us the past two [Game 7s]."

When asked about the impending matchup against the Lightning, Fox said he will not lose much sleep over his side's rest disadvantage.

"I'm not sure to be honest – obviously [the Lightning] getting a little rest is good for their guys, but we're in hockey mode," he said. "We're in playoff mode, and we want to keep the momentum rolling.

"It could be good for us, but obviously a good test as well."

Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon did not shy away from the reality facing his side in the Western Conference Finals – calling Edmonton Oilers poster boy Connor McDavid "the best".

To advance through to the Western Conference Finals, the Avalanche swept the Nashville Predators in the first round, and then handled the strong challenge of the St. Louis Blues to win the series 4-2.

For the Oilers, they were forced to go seven games against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, before making it look easier against the Calgary Flames, winning their second-round series 4-1.

MacKinnon is a star in his own right, seventh in the league in points per game (1.35), and the best player on the Western Conference's best team – but when asked about his side's plan to deal with reigning MVP McDavid, he said it would take more than one man.

"I'm not really thinking about [McDavid] a whole lot, but obviously I see that stuff," he said.

"I think he's the best, I've said it. I think he's been the best for a little bit now, and it's going to take a full team effort to stop him."

McDavid led the league in total points (123) and points per game (1.54), and has been named to the NHL First All-Star Team in four of his six seasons.

When he was asked about his side's plan to deal with MacKinnon, he opted to not mention his opposing star by name.

"They're a good team over there," he said. "I've learned that over the last couple of years. 

"This year is no different. They've got some real good players, and they're really good all around."

Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was willing to dive a little deeper into what he thinks of the two stars.

"There's a lot of similarities between MacKinnon and McDavid," he said. "But at the same time, they're very different playing styles. 

"McDavid's very good off the rush, and very fast, and he's got the quick steps right at the beginning. 

"They're both such electric players, and McDavid's been the driving force for them as well as their other top guys.

"He'll be a good test, but we're all excited."

The man in charge of keeping McDavid off the scoresheet – Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper – said he was also looking forward to testing himself against the best.

"It's a fun challenge for sure," he said. "[McDavid] is an electric, dynamic player. 

"He's creating every time he's on ice. Like [Makar] said, there's similarities between their games, but at the same time, they're different players. It's a fun challenge. 

"You want to face the best players in the world, and we're looking forward to it."

New York Rangers goal-tender Igor Shesterkin was the talk of the town after stopping 37 shots and providing two assists in their 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 of their NHL second round playoffs series.

The Rangers forced a Game 7 in the series as they continued their excellent home form buoyed by a strong start, winning their sixth straight game at Madison Square Garden.

Tyler Motte and Mika Zibanejad scored in the first period to earn Rangers a 2-0 lead with Filip Chytil netting two goals in the second. Artemi Panarin added another in the third period to close out the victory.

But Shesterkin earned praise from Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant after becoming only the fifth goalie in NHL history to have two or more assists in a playoff game.

"He made some real key saves for us," Gallant told reporters.

"Obviously the two assists are huge, but I think he was trying to get three there in the third when he passed it up the middle.

"He's outstanding. He's been like that all year for us."

Shesterkin now has three assists in 13 postseason games, setting up Zibanejad's first-period goal, along with Chytil's second.

"About the two assists, honestly, I think it was mostly the guys that did all the work," Shesterkin said via a translator. "I just got them the puck and they delivered."

Gallant was delighted with Rangers' home form, stating it did not surprise him, but the series-deciding Game 7 will be played in Carolina where the Hurricanes are 7-0 in this postseason.

"We have to play how we play at home," Chytil said.

"We found a way to win in Pittsburgh. It's a Game 7 now, so we have to find a way to win the game.

"We have to play hard, we have to play our game and don't focus on any other thing. Just focus on the game and I think we can win the game.”"

Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour admitted his side started too "raw" but was eager to move on with Game 7 on Monday.

"It's behind us now, we turn the page," Brind'Amour said. "The good news is we don't have to end on that. We have another shot here."

Colorado Avalanche players were thrilled for center Darren Helm after he scored the series-winning goal in his side's 3-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues with just five seconds remaining in regulation.

With their Game 6 triumph away from home, the Avalanche secured a 4-2 series win, and will now play the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals, with the winner earning a chance at the Stanley Cup.

It was far from a comfortable win for the Avalanche, needing to come from behind twice.

Firstly, after Justin Faulk gave the Blues a lead in the first period, Colorado's J.T. Compher equalised five minutes into the second frame.

That tie would last less than five minutes before Jordan Kyrou got on the end of a build-up by Andre Burakovsky and Josh Manson, making it 2-1 for the home side, and that score would hold through the second period and the first 10 minutes of the last.

After a penalty gave the Avalanche a power play, Compher capitalised with his second goal of the game, tying things up with just under 10 minutes to play.

With both teams pushing for a late winner, it would be the away side to produce the breakthrough, as Helm found his way past Blues goaltender Ville Husso in the dying seconds to deliver the series win to the Avalanche.

Speaking to post-game media, Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog said it was a joy to see Helm be the hero, scoring his first goal of the postseason when his team needed it most.

"There's no other guy that deserves it as much as he does," he said. 

"You talk about his work ethic, but he's the guy that comes to the rink with a smile on his face, gets along with everybody."

Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper shared similar sentiments, calling it "a super-clutch goal".

He added: "It's always fun to see someone like Darren, who plays the game so hard, (but) always doesn't get rewarded with the points – to come up with a big goal like that is really special."

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said he could tell from the jump his side was up for the challenge, and that there is still plenty of work to do.

"From the drop of the puck, we were ready to go," he said. "You could tell the belief was there."

"We're only halfway to our goal... we're just getting started."

The Blues were left licking their wounds, convinced they side were good enough, but just failed the test.

"We feel like we're a good team and we let that series slip," Blues center Brayden Schenn said.

St. Louis coach Craig Berube added: "It's tough, a tough way to end it. That's the way it goes. Our guys battle hard."

Blake Coleman was left questioning his own understanding of the rules after his go-ahead goal against the Edmonton Oilers was controversially disallowed as the Calgary Flames' season came to an end.

Coleman looked to have given the Flames a 5-4 lead in Game 5 of the second-round series when he followed in after Mikael Backlund's effort was initially repelled by Mike Smith.

However, a video review ruled Coleman had deliberately kicked the puck into the net.

The game was subsequently sent to overtime, with Connor McDavid scoring the winning goal for the Oilers as they clinched a 4-1 series victory to progress to the Western Conference Finals.

NHL rule 49.2 says a player cannot use "a deliberate kicking motion" to divert the puck into the net, however, Coleman appeared to turn his skate to help himself stop before making contact with the puck. Additionally, Backlund's effort looked set to cross the line despite Smith's block.

Yet the officials still ruled against Coleman, who could only express his bemusement after the game.

"I don't think I understand the rule," he said. "Getting pushed, just trying to keep my foot on the ice, I haven't watched it enough but in live speed, felt like I was in a battle.

"My understanding is you can direct the puck, you just can't kick it. I didn't feel like I kicked it but can't go back and change it now. It is what it is.

"It's unfortunate that was such a big part of the game and happened the way to influence the way it all went down. Aside from that, proud of our team, we fought hard, I wish that would've helped put us over to another game.

"There's no intent, just trying to get there, my understanding is you can redirect the puck off your foot as long as you're not lifting it and kicking it into the net.

"I'll go watch it again, maybe it's glaringly obvious and I just didn't feel like I did what it looks like."

Interim Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft praised his team's resilience in difficult circumstances after defeating the Calgary Flames 5-4 in overtime to reach the NHL's Western Conference final.

In a Battle of Alberta that saw an extraordinary 46 goals in five games, Connor McDavid scored at 5:03 in the extra period as the Oilers won their series 4-1.

The Edmonton captain scored his seventh goal of the playoffs, beating Jacob Markstrom off a pass from Leon Draisaitl to score the winner, while Zach Hyman contributed a goal and two assists.

Taking over from Dave Tippett in February, Woodcroft asserted his belief in the Oilers locker room post-game.

"There were some things that we could clean up heading into overtime," he said.

"We talked about that, but I think with our group there is a measure of calm and composure, and a strong belief that we have the people in the room that can get us through any type or circumstance, so we felt good about our chances.

"When I walked into that room at the beginning of February, I was bullish on our players because I saw a sincere desire to win and not just the desire to win, but I saw people willing to pay the price to win.

"We always felt that we had the ability to score. For us it's sometimes not just about what we're getting but also what we're giving up and as the series went on we got better at that."

McDavid now sits fifth in NHL history for playoff points per game at 1.45, while Draisaitl's 17 goals over the five games beat Wayne Gretzky's 1983 record for most points in a playoff series between the two teams.

 

Game-winner Tyler Bozak said the St. Louis Blues were not ready to go on holidays after they pulled off a stunning 5-4 comeback in overtime against the Colorado Avalanche to keep their season alive.

With the win, the Blues still trail 3-2 in the series, but they earned a chance to head home to St. Louis for Game 6

The Avalanche looked all set to move on to the next round after a pair of first period goals to Nathan MacKinnon, and a second-round strike from Gabriel Landeskog had them up 3-0 at the halfway point.

Instead of lying down, the Blues fought back in front of the raucous Avalanche crowd, with Vladimir Tarasenko pegging one back to make it 3-1 at the end of the second period.

The Avalanche were able to hold things together for the first nine minutes of the last period, until the Blues' pressure started to pay off, with Robert Thomas trimming the margin to 3-2.

Jordan Kyrou would have thought his goal would send the game to overtime as he made it 3-3 with less than five minutes to play, but the Avalanche answered straight back as MacKinnon finished off his hat-trick with under three minutes on the clock.

But there would be another twist to the tale, as Thomas was able to force home his second goal, the equaliser, with 56 seconds remaining in regulation.

Overtime only lasted 3:38 before Bozak silenced the home fans with the golden goal to keep the Blues' Stanley Cup dreams alive.

Speaking to post-game media after scoring the winner, Bozak said his side was not ready for things to end this way.

"Just a resilient group of guys," he said. "[We] got down, [but] didn't want the season to be over.

"[We] fought hard and got some big goals late. I just got a little bounce up top and saw a lane to the net. 

"In overtime, there's definitely no such thing as a bad shot. I just tried to get it through on the traffic – all I know is that it went in, and that's all that matters."

Blues coach Craig Berube highlighted the gutsy effort to come from behind twice.

"We battle back, and then we give up that goal," he said. "It could have been deflating, but our guys have a lot of guts.

"Guys battled and kept battling. That's really what it boils down to. 

"We didn't get off to the start we wanted, being down quick. I thought the second half of the second period we started to come with our game.

"Getting to the goal line, winning battles down there. We went north. That's what it boils down to."

Thomas had not scored in any of the Blues' first 10 playoff games, but said it was nice to break the drought.

"Better late than never, I guess," he said.

"You've got nothing to lose – you might as well throw it all out there. That was the mindset."

The New York Rangers are feeling confident about their prospects of reaching the NHL Stanley Cup Finals after fighting back from 2-0 to square their series with the Carolina Hurricanes, earning a 4-1 win on Tuesday.

The Hurricanes have had the wood over the Rangers in recent times, winning eight out of their previous nine encounters prior to the past two meetings in this heated series.

Rangers center Andrew Copp, who scored a goal with two assists in the Game 4 win, said the momentum was with his side after winning 3-1 in Game 3.

"We're confident," Copp told reporters. "We get two games where we win, we play well, we give up two goals total.

"Now the reverse of the talk of you guys is on them now. We just got to kind of block all that out and stay with our game.

"Guys are feeling better about themselves and we got to ride this momentum into Carolina."

Rangers goal tender Igor Shesterkin stopped 30 shots but had his shutout bid spoiled by Teuvo Teravainen's third-period goal.

Earlier, goals to Frank Vatrano and Adam Fox earned the Rangers a 2-0 first-period lead, with Mika Zibanejad extending that advantage 16:48 into the second. Teravainen made it 3-1 before Copp rounded it out from Ryan Strome's assist 11:10 in the third period.

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant was delighted with his team's display after a tight series, where the Hurricanes won Game 1 in over-time 2-1, before triumphing 2-0 in Game 2.

"Really, you look at the four games," Gallant said. "It's not just the two at home, but the four games have been pretty much one-goal games most of the way through.

"We are two teams that are close and battling. I just think it's been outstanding hockey by both teams."

The result means the Hurricanes are 0-5 on the road in the playoffs, while they are 6-0 at home ahead of Game 5 in Carolina.

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said: "You've got to keep getting the chances. I'm happy that we're at least creating some offense.

"[Shesterkin] played well, you've got to give him tons of credit. But to me, the start is what did it to us."

Elsewhere, the Edmonton Oilers took a 3-1 lead in their second round series against the Calgary Flames, winning 5-3 in Game 4 after blowing a 3-0 first-period lead.

Nazem Kadri scored a decisive hat-trick for the Colorado Avalanche against the St. Louis Blues in Game 4, having been determined to perform after alleging threats and racist abuse.

Avalanche center Kadri was involved in a collision with Jordan Binnington in Game 3, bringing a premature end to the Blues goaltender's series.

Former NHL player Akim Aliu revealed on Twitter on Sunday he had subsequently spoken to Kadri, who he said had "been subject to so many racist attacks and threats since last night that police had to be brought in".

The Avalanche confirmed they were aware of threats made towards their player – a Muslim of Lebanese descent – and were working with local law enforcement to investigate.

In the meantime, Kadri responded on the ice with three goals in Monday's 6-3 win to put the Avalanche 3-1 up and on the brink of the Western Conference Finals.

"I wanted to come out tonight and really put a mark on this game, especially after what happened," Kadri said. "I tried to do that as best as possible.

"Sometimes you've got to be patient, and you've got to wait. I was able to strike early in the second period and was able to get the mojo going."

He added of the incidents: "People need to be aware this stuff still happens, and it's hurtful."

Speaking ahead of Game 4, Blues coach Craig Berube – who had questioned Kadri's role in Binnington's injury, referencing his "reputation" in an apparent nod to previous postseason suspensions – said of the threats: "I've got no comment on that stuff."

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