Andrei Svechnikov scored the first hat-trick of his NHL career as the Carolina Hurricanes moved to within one win of the Stanley Cup playoffs on Monday with a 4-1 rout of the New York Rangers.
The 20-year-old winger's superb display of finishing sent the Rangers spinning to defeat in game two of the qualifying competition at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Sebastian Aho set up all three of Svechnikov's goals, while Jordan Martinook was the other Hurricanes scorer. The Hurricanes lead the series 2-0.
Svechnikov said afterwards his hat-trick meant more coming against the Rangers star goalkeeper Henrik Lundqvist, the veteran Swedish international.
"I'm excited to score my first hat-trick, especially on a superstar goalie," Svechnikov said.
"I mean, I wouldn't do that without my partner. Thanks for that, and I think we played a really good game," he said of Aho's contribution.
Rangers coach David Quinn, meanwhile, credited Carolina's performance but lamented his team's self-inflicted problems.
"They're playing smart hockey, they're playing experienced playoff hockey," Quinn said of the Hurricanes, whom his team will face in game three on Tuesday.
"Between now and tomorrow night, we have to learn we can't keep shooting ourselves in the foot.
"Our lack of patience is killing us right now... We need everybody in that room to just be a little bit smarter, a little bit more patient, work a little bit harder, win more wall battles. All these things add up."
- Overcoming adversity -
In other games on Monday, the Vegas Golden Knights scored four goals in the third period after overturning a 1-3 deficit to defeat the Dallas Stars 5-3 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Chandler Stephenson had fired the Golden Knights into the lead in the opening period before goals from Joe Pavelski, Jamie Oleksiak and Corey Perry left Dallas in control at 3-1 in the second.
Mark Stone pulled a goal back for Las Vegas with an individual effort before Nate Schmidt levelled with a follow-up shot to make it 3-3.
William Carrier then put the Golden Knights ahead with 5min 13sec remaining, before William Karlsson completed the comeback, stroking the puck into an empty net with 21 seconds left.
Elsewhere Monday, the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 to level their qualifying series at 1-1.
"Our season was on the line, so I guess that makes it special," Jets captain Blake Wheeler said.
"It's one win in a long journey. I don't know how many wins we had this year, but a good majority of them were like that, where we had some adversity and things we had to overcome."
Andrei Svechnikov completes his hat-trick in Carolina's 4-1 rout of the New York Rangers