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Inside Rangers-Hurricanes matchup: Predicting the second-round series

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The Rangers are on to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2017. Their opponent, the Hurricanes, are back here for a second straight season and the third time in the last four years. There’s no doubt the Rangers are the underdogs, but this is a team that made NHL history in Round 1 by recording three consecutive comeback wins in elimination games within the same series.

Never count the Blueshirts out.

Nevertheless, Carolina has proven to be a hurdle the Rangers have yet to be able to clear. Dating back to the 2020 bubble, where the Hurricanes swept them in the qualifying round in three games, the Rangers have only won once in their last seven meetings. That one victory came on March 20, when backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev stole the show with a 44-save performance in a 2-0 shutout.

“We know it’s a challenge,” Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant said. “Carolina is a real good hockey team. They went through a tough series, too. They played Boston for seven games, so I think both teams are on even keel. We’re going to take it one game at a time and go from there. But we feel good about our chances.”

The Post’s Mollie Walker takes a look at how the teams match up:

Goaltending

The Hurricanes’ No. 1 goalie, Frederik Andersen, has been battling a lower-body injury since the end of the regular season and didn’t play in their first-round matchup with the Bruins. Former Blueshirt Antti Raanta has primarily been Carolina’s starting netminder. A journeyman who spent two seasons in New York, Raanta has decent playoff numbers for the sample size that it is (11 games, 3-3 record, 2.74 goals-against average and .908 save percentage), but the Rangers still take this category easily.

Andersen was one of the few NHL goalies who kept up with the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin this season. Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said there wouldn’t be any more updates on Andersen until he practices with the team.

Shesterkin got his first taste of playoff hockey on the road in Round 1 and he steadily improved away from home as the series progressed. His 39 saves and .929 save percentage in the Rangers’ Game 7 win against the Penguins proved he can rise to the occasion.

New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save
Igor Shesterkin got better as the Rangers’ first-round series progressed.
Corey Sipkin

Edge: Rangers

Defense

The Rangers and Hurricanes both had the two lowest goals-against averages and goals-against totals during the regular season, with Carolina holding a slight edge at 2.44 and 200, respectively, compared to the Rangers’ 2.49 and 204. The Hurricanes also finished with the lowest shots-against average in the NHL at 28.2 per game, while the Rangers had the third highest at 30.8.

This is a testament to how the Hurricanes seemingly always have the puck, which naturally allows them to play less defense. The Hurricanes’ top two defensemen, Jaccob Slavin and former Ranger Tony DeAngelo, lead the team with eight points each in the playoffs. Brett Pesce and former Ranger Brady Skjei have also had impactful seasons.

The Rangers have gotten some production from their defensemen as well. Adam Fox is second on the team in points with 10, while K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba have chipped in a couple of goals as well, in addition to drawing the top opponent matchups.

Edge: Hurricanes

Forwards

The Rangers are trading in a tough matchup with the Penguins’ top line of Jake Guentzel-Sidney Crosby-Bryan Rust for one that is just as difficult in the Hurricanes’ Andrei Svechnikov-Sebastian Aho-Seth Jarvis. However, this Hurricanes team can get offensive contributions up and down its lineup. It’s a group that averaged 3.38 goals per game during the regular season.

Carolina’s one-two punch down the middle in Aho and Vincent Trocheck is a handful. There’s another one on the left wing, too, in Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen. These skaters can push the pace and know how to tilt the ice.

The Rangers’ Chris Kreider, Mika Zibanejad and Frank Vatrano will be preoccupied defensively, again. But it wasn’t until that top line got hot — which was partially due to Crosby missing part of Game 5 and all of Game 6 — that the Rangers were able to separate themselves from the Penguins. The middle six, especially Artemi Panarin, Andrew Copp and Alexis Lafreniere, will have to contribute even more on offense than they did in the previous series.

Sebastian Aho #20 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates
Sebastian Aho leads a deep Hurricanes offense.
Getty Images

Edge: Hurricanes

Special teams

The Rangers have gotten a lot out of their special teams this postseason. Every power play and every penalty kill seemingly gives the team a boost and provides scoring chances, with the man-advantage and while shorthanded.

With Tyler Motte and Ryan Lindgren back in the fold, the Rangers’ PK is in its best form. The power play wasn’t as effective in Round 1 as it was in the regular season, but it still generated tremendous offensive-zone time and goals in big moments.

Edge: Rangers

New York Rangers Gerard Gallant on the bench
Gerard Gallant has the Rangers into the second round of the playoffs in his first season behind their bench.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Coaching

Brind’Amour has been with the Hurricanes for the past 11 seasons, the first seven as an assistant before he took over as head coach in 2018-19. In addition to having a pulse on his team and knowing what makes it go, Brind’Amour has coached in the playoffs each season since he became the bench boss in Carolina.

Gallant has played a major role in pulling the best out of this Rangers team this season, there’s no debating that. His style and approach empowers his players, but every decision and matchup choice is amplified in the playoffs.

Edge: Hurricanes

Prediction

The Rangers have proven they deserved to get to this point, but the Canes have been banging on the door to the Eastern Conference finals for some time now and are built to actually do it this season.

Hurricanes in six

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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