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Plethora of penalties perplex Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1

SportsPlethora of penalties perplex Carolina Hurricanes in Game 1


NEW YORK — Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo heard often vulgar chants from New York Rangers fans during Carolina’s 4-3 Game 1 loss on Sunday, especially when his first-period penalty led to a critical power-play goal.

“I don’t give two you-know-whats about it,” said DeAngelo, who played for the Rangers from 2016 to 2021.

The Rangers’ torrid power play needed just 23 seconds to score twice in the first period. Mika Zibanejad scored nine seconds after DeAngelo’s roughing penalty on Rangers forward Will Cuylle, and Vincent Trocheck scored 14 seconds after Evgeny Kuznetsov‘s cross-checking foul on Rangers defenseman Adam Fox. New York went 2-for-2 against Carolina’s top-ranked penalty kill after going 6-for-16 in the first round against the Washington Capitals.

DeAngelo was penalized on a strange sequence that saw Carolina forward Martin Necas initially called for tripping on Cuylle. With Necas in the box, the officials conferred on the ice, and it was determined the wrong player had been penalized: Rather than a trip from Necas, it was a leaping hit from DeAngelo that knocked Cuylle to the ice. After that was established, the officials then announced they were reviewing the DeAngelo hit for a major penalty on an illegal check to the head. It was determined the call was simply a roughing minor, instead.

When asked if the referees had offered an explanation, Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said “not one that made sense” to him.

“I’m not even going to get into it,” DeAngelo said about the call. “It’s tough. We had five power plays too, so they can go both ways. It’s a tough job for them guys, and then they make a call. So, it is what it is.”

Penalties at inopportune times plagued the Hurricanes in Game 1. That included an Andrei Svechnikov tripping penalty just six seconds after the Rangers’ Trocheck was whistled for knocking the puck over the glass with this hand at 19:19 of the third period, with Carolina trailing by one goal and its goalie pulled.

The Hurricanes were 22nd in the NHL in penalties taken during the regular season. Captain Jordan Staal felt the Game 1 atmosphere at Madison Square Garden led to some regrettable penalties early in the game for his team.

“We’ve talked about [it] before, all year long. Especially in an emotional building like this, it always seems to get everyone riled up, and we were at fault again to start,” he said. “I thought we were better as the game went on and settled down a little bit. Obviously, the crowd can get the refs going here tonight, and we get fired up. We obviously talked after the first period that we need to settle down a little bit, and we did.”

But Brind’Amour didn’t believe his team was undisciplined in Game 1.

“Svech, I don’t know what else you want to do there. He’s fighting for a puck. That’s certainly not an undisciplined penalty. Kuzy, he’d like to have that back, but the guy did it to him, and it’s one of those, ‘You always catch the second guy.’ He knows better,” Brind’Amour said.

“And then Tony’s was more — I don’t know, if the guy doesn’t fall, it’s probably not a call, so that’s not an undisciplined penalty for me was there. But like I said, we don’t want to take any penalties.”

Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, where Rangers fans will again be ready to create a raucous environment to support their team and fluster the opponents. DeAngelo pushed back on the idea that the atmosphere could cause Carolina to play undisciplined hockey.

“No, that’s the playoffs. Our rink is louder than all of them, so we could say the same thing about ours,” he said. “But you guys know how great New York is as a sports town. They do a good job cheering their team on. But we don’t care.”



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