Skip to content

Kreider's hat trick sends Rangers to ECF

Grant Halverson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The New York Rangers rallied to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 in Game 6 of their second-round series to move on to the Eastern Conference Final.

Chris Kreider capped off a natural hat trick for the eventual winner with 4:19 left in the third period as the Rangers prevailed after trailing 3-1 heading into the final frame.

Kreider netted his first goal of the night and fifth of these playoffs 6:43 into the third. He got his second of the game just over five minutes later.

The current Blueshirts forward joined Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier as the only Rangers to notch three goals in a period during a playoff game.

Kreider and Messier both did it in the third period, and Messier accomplished it in the "Guarantee Game" when he insisted they'd win Game 6 of the 1993-94 Eastern Conference Final against the New Jersey Devils. They ultimately did so before prevailing in Game 7 en route to claiming the Stanley Cup.

The current Rangers winger wouldn't say whether he predicted in the second intermission that he'd score in the third, but teammate Vincent Trocheck eventually remembered Kreider calling it.

Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour - who remains without a contract for next season - lamented how the campaign ended for his squad.

"It's a special group in there. This is a tough way to end a really good year," the bench boss said, according to The Athletic's Peter Baugh. "These guys played their butts off all year, but this is what you're going to remember. That's the hard part."

New York reached the conference final Thursday for the second time in three seasons. The club got there in 2021-22, but the Tampa Bay Lightning dispatched them in six games.

The Rangers - who took home the Presidents' Trophy this season - won the first three games of this series before dropping the next two. The Hurricanes were one period away from forcing Game 7 with a two-goal lead before collapsing down the stretch.

New York will now face the winner of the second-round series between the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins.

The Panthers lead that matchup 3-2 with Game 6 scheduled for Friday night in Boston.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox