Sports

Canes’ Raanta turns Game 7 win vs Bruins into household affair


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The Carolina Hurricanes gamers Brett Pesce (22) and Jaccob Slavin (74) have a good time their 3-2 victory over Boston with goalie Antii Raanta (32). after clinching the primary spherical of their Stanley Cup sequence on Saturday, Could 14, 2022 at PNC Enviornment in Raleigh, N.C.

rwillett@newsobserver.com

There are a number of moments earlier than the sport, earlier than the introduction of the beginning lineup, when goalie Antti Raanta of the Carolina Hurricanes drops his head, as if deep in thought.

A lot can undergo a person’s thoughts in a number of seconds. For Raanta on Saturday, it certainly was of his father, Pekka, who died earlier than the season. It in all probability concerned a vow to maintain the Boston Bruins from successful Game 7 and denying the Canes within the Stanley Cup playoffs once more.

A couple of hours later, Raanta, a person for whom smiles come simply, was beaming. The Canes beat the Bruins 3-2, holding off a late push to win the first-round sequence earlier than a file crowd at PNC Enviornment.

With the Boston web empty, the Bruins’ David Pastrnak scored with 21.7 seconds left in regulation to make it a one-goal recreation. Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron gained the following faceoff and the puck was quickly within the Canes finish once more, Bergeron getting a shot on aim and having one other blocked by Jordan Staal in a frenetic end.

“It was probably the longest 20 seconds of my life,” Raanta stated. “It was a scramble to the end. When the buzzer sounded it was probably the best feeling in a long time. And a big relief, for sure.”

The Canes had gained and the group of 19,513 thundered its approval. Raanta was swarmed by teammates. He went by the handshake line, at all times candy if you’re on the successful facet.

After which he had a postgame customer, which was simply as candy.

Raanta was within the media room for a postgame interview when his daughter, Evelyn, bounded in and jumped into his lap.

Raanta
Carolina Hurricanes goalie Antti Raanta holds his daughter, Evelyn, as he solutions media questions after a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 at PNC Enviornment on Could, 14, 2022. Chip Alexander

Was {that a} tear? Or two? What a day. Beat the Bruins in a Game 7 after which have one in every of your youngsters are available and benefit from the second with you.

Raanta spent most of Friday not a lot worrying about hockey or the Bruins or beginning his first profession Game 7, however what his two youngsters had been as much as — being a dad.

“After the practice I got home and these guys make you forget the hockey and they keep you busy,” he stated. “Sometimes, they’re a little too wild, but you’ll take that and you try to stay with them and be a role model. It’s awesome to go home every time because they don’t really care about if we win or lose. They’re super proud. It’s special, for sure.”

Throughout a lot of the season, as Frederik Andersen gained video games and emerged as a Vezina Trophy candidate, Raanta was the backup goalie, prepared when wanted. He was wanted late within the season when Andersen briefly went out with an harm, then wanted once more when Andersen left the April 16 recreation in opposition to Colorado with a lower-body harm.

With Andersen nonetheless out, Raanta made his first profession playoff begin and beat the Bruins in Game 1. A collision with Pastrnak in Game 2 compelled him out of the sport, the Canes turning to rookie Pyotr Kochetkov. However Raanta returned for Game 5, taking part in maybe his finest recreation of the sequence, after which was the winner Saturday within the greatest recreation of his profession.

When the second spherical begins, in opposition to both Pittsburgh or the New York Rangers, Raanta will probably be prepared, once more.

“When one of the best goalies in the league goes down to injury it’s going to sting a little bit, but the team in front of me has been doing a great job and I just try to do my job,” Raanta stated. “It was a chance for me to show what I can do in the big stages. Starting from Game 1 I thought my game was pretty good. And obviously today a lot of battling and grinding it out.”

Doing his job Saturday included a crucial cease on a Bruins two-on-one rush within the first interval, Raanta making a fast post-to-post push to disclaim Taylor Corridor. He allowed a aim to ahead Jake DeBrusk within the second interval however stopped every thing else till the extra-attacker rating by Pastrnak, closing with 27 saves.

Raanta quickly was speaking a few chat he had with goaltending coach Paul Schonfelder earlier than the sport. It was about his father, Pekka, who died in August because the Canes had been making ready for preseason coaching camp.

“I was pretty much told, ‘Whatever happens today your old man, wherever he’s watching, is super proud,’” Raanta stated. “I think that was the last thing to get in your head. And whatever happens today, it was obviously great to get the win and have my kids in the stands.

“A lot of people texted me straight away. A lot of people in Finland were staying awake for today’s game. It’s great. Obviously it would be great if my dad would be here and he would see this, but he’s super happy.”

Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour was tremendous comfortable for Raanta.

“I’m proud of him,” Brind’Amour stated. “He’s been through a lot this year, not just physically but overall. To step in at the biggest moments and be ‘the guy,’ I’m proud of him.

“Everybody has got life outside of hockey and he’s had a tough, tough go this last year. So that makes a little bit more his story. You pull for guys like that.”

This story was initially revealed Could 14, 2022 9:26 PM.

Comply with extra of our reporting on Carolina Hurricanes within the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs


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In additional than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has lined the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now could be in his eleventh season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has gained quite a few writing awards on the state and nationwide degree, lined the Hurricanes’ transfer to North Carolina in 1997 and was part of The N&O’s protection of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.



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