Stanley Cup playoffs: Rangers rock Hurricanes, advance to ECF

May 31 (UPI) -- Veteran winger Chris Kreider scored twice and goaltender Igor Shesterkin logged 37 saves to lead the New York Rangers over the Carolina Hurricanes and into the 2022 Eastern Conference finals.

Defenseman Adam Fox and centers Ryah Strome, Andrew Copp and Filip Chytil also scored in the 6-2 second-round Stanley Cup playoffs series finale Monday at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. Center Mika Zibanejad totaled three assists.

"We're like cockroaches. We just didn't go away," Kreider told reporters. "We won't go away. That's been a characteristic of every good team I've been on."

The Rangers won the best-of-seven game series 4-3 and will host the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday in New York.

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead with two power-play scores in the first half of Monday's first period. Fox lit the lamp first when he scored off assists from left wing Alexis Lafreniere and Copp 3:40 into the game.

Zibanejad and Fox fed Kreider for his first score less than five minutes later. Strome pushed the lead to 3-0 with 3:41 remaining in the second, the only score of the period. Kreider found the net for a second time 3:59 into the third.

Center Vincent Trocheck put the Hurricanes on the board when he beat Shesterkin for a power-play score 8:11 into the final frame. Chytil scored just 40 seconds later.

Center Max Domi scored the Hurricanes' final goal with 3:47 remaining. Copp lit the lamp for a final time 55 seconds later.

The Rangers will face the Lightning at 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. That game will air on ESPN.

The winner of that best-of-seven game series will face the Colorado Avalanche or Edmonton Oilers in the 2022 Stanley Cup Final.

The Avalanche host the Oilers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals at 8 p.m. Monday in Denver. That game will air on TNT.