NEW YORK (AP) Mika Zibanejad helped the New York Rangers get off to a strong start in their first game in a week, and they held on to get a big win in their second-round series opener against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Zibanejad had two goals and an assist, Artemi Panarin also scored and the Rangers beat the Hurricanes 4-3 on Sunday in Game 1.

Vincent Trocheck had a goal and an assist, and Chris Kreider had two assists as the Rangers, playing for the first time since completing their first-round sweep of Washington one week earlier, won their seventh straight including the regular season.

“We really wanted to have a good start, especially at home, Game 1,” Zibanejad said. “Been off for a few days and been able to rest, and I thought that was most noticeable. Guys were excited to play and when we're able to score on our chances early on and get a little bit momentum, that was good.”

Igor Shesterkin stopped 22 shots to become the third goalie in franchise history to open a postseason with five straight wins, joining Dave Kerr (1937) and Mike Richter (1994).

“A week out from the last time you played, I thought the start was really good and we followed that through right through the game," Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said.

Jaccob Slavin, Martin Necas and Seth Jarvis each had a goal for Carolina, which last played Tuesday night when it finished its first-round win against the New York Islanders. Frederik Andersen finished with 19 saves.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday night.

The Hurricanes had the second-best power play in the NHL during the season and the top penalty-killing unit. However, they went 0 for 5 with five shots on goals during the advantages against a Rangers team that was third on the PK. New York was 2 for 2 on its power plays that totaled 23 seconds.

“I thought we played a pretty good game,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. ”On a couple of (penalty) kills we didn't quite execute right and they did. ... We were just a step off and that's the difference. It's tough because we played pretty hard. Overall, as the game went on we got a little better."

Necas got in alone on Shesterkin early in the third period and quickly put it through the goalie's legs to pull the Hurricanes to 3-2 at 2:48.

Panarin beat Andersen from the left circle at 8:21 to restore the Rangers' two-goal lead. It was his third of the playoffs after finishing with a career-high 49 in the regular season.

Carolina pulled Andersen for an extra skater with 3 minutes to go, and Jarvis scored from the left side with 1:45 remaining.

Shesterkin made a glove save on Andrei Svechnikov with just under a minute remaining to preserve the Rangers' lead.

Jacob Trouba was sent off for cross-checking 2 1/2 minutes into the second period. The Hurricanes got one shot on goal during the advantage. After the penalty expired, the Hurricanes' Jordan Staal had a breakaway but his attempt was gloved aside by Shesterkin.

The Hurricanes got another power play with 4:46 left in the period, but did not get a shot on goal during the advantage. '

Zibanejad got the Rangers on the scoreboard on the game's first shot on goal 2:46 into the game. Jack Roslovic skated around the back of the net and sent a pass in front and Zibanejad put it past Andersen.'

Slavin tied it 1:02 later on the Hurricanes' first shot as he fired a shot from the left point that bounced and went over Shesterkin's right shoulder.

Carolina defenseman Brady Skjei sent a shot off the right post 20 seconds later.

The Hurricanes got the first power play of the day when Kreider was sent off for boarding at 6:14. A little more than a minute later, Necas skated in on Shesterkin from the right side and hit the left post.

New York went on the power play midway through the period when former Ranger Tony DeAngelo was sent off for roughing. New York needed just 9 seconds to take advantage as Kreider got the puck on the right doorstep and sent a no-look pass to the left to Zibanejad, who fired it in.

The Rangers got their second power play with 3:46 remaining, and needed just 14 seconds to score as Trocheck backhanded the rebound of Zibanejad's shot in front past Andersen to make it 3-1.

“First game, new round and the crowd was into it," Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho said. "We need a better start.”

It was Trocheck's fourth of the playoffs and gave him a goal in four straight games and a point in five straight.

“He’s somebody that we just count on for both sides of the puck, offensively and defensively,” Laviolette said. “Tonight was more just a reflection of the regular season.”

Zibanejad has an 11-game point streak, including the regular season, with five goals and 13 assists in the stretch. Roslovic extended his point streak to six games.


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