Rangers' Schneider: 'It's the way they're playing'; Rangers feel they played well at 5-on-5 in Game 1 despite analytics suggesting otherwise

Rangers coach Peter Laviolette and several players pointed to their five-on-five play as a strength in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series against the Hurricanes. While the analytics may suggest otherwise, the team's performance and result in Game 1 are encouraging as they look to continue their success in the series.

"From a five-on-five standpoint, I thought we did a really good job creating the chances that we needed to," Laviolette said. "And keeping them from generating quality chances they might be looking for."

Despite being outshot 32-15 and in shot attempts 57-43 at five-on-five, the Rangers felt they played well enough at even strength to win Game 1. According to Natural Stat Trick, the Hurricanes held a 21-12 margin in five-on-five scoring chances and a 14-6 edge in high-danger chances.

"It's the way they're playing," Braden Schneider told The Post regarding the Hurricanes' defensive style. "You know that's their style, you know that's what's coming. You know they're gonna get a lot of shots and it's trying to do your best to minimize those ones that come from the middle of the ice. If they're taking shots, we have a good goalie that can handle that, and it's making sure we're not giving up anything that scary in the middle of the ice that's a Grade-A look."

The Rangers' special teams units were significant factors in Game 1, with the power play going 2-for-3, including a two-goal rally within 23 seconds of each other, and the penalty kill going 5-for-5. According to Fox, the team believes that winning the special teams battle is key to winning the series.

"Five-on-five last game, I thought we were really good, we pushed the pace, took things to them," Schneider said. "I think if we continue to do that, that's what we need."

The Rangers have had prior success against the Hurricanes in recent seasons, taking three of four meetings this season, three of four last season, and four of seven in the playoffs two seasons ago. With the analytics vs. intuition debate ongoing, the Rangers' confidence and performance against Carolina suggest they may be in a position to take control of the series.

"If you get past the analytics and look at the actual results, this rivalry is, in fact, a little bit one-sided," the article concludes. "Until proven otherwise, there's no reason to treat this series any differently."

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