RALEIGH, N.C. — Minutes after his team’s season ended, Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour expressed his displeasure with the call that led to the Rangers’ tying goal in their comeback victory Thursday night. 

Jordan Staal’s cross-check on Mika Zibanejad — one of just three penalties called in the game — at 10:58 of the third gave the Rangers a power play on which they converted for the first time in nine tries at five-on-four, with Chris Kreider scoring his second of three goals on the night to tie the game at 3-3. 

The Rangers went on to win 5-3, ending the second-round series in six games and denying the Hurricanes a chance for a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden. 

“I don’t know if that’s a cross-check,” Brind’Amour said. “He pushed him into the boards. We’re in that stage, there’s a lot of extra, making sure you get the call. 

“You gotta kill the penalty, they’re talented. The guy [Kreider] just floated in. Great tip. Gotta give them credit.” 

The insinuation of diving is particularly ironic given that the Hurricanes were widely accused of the same during their first-round victory over the Islanders. 

Over the series, Carolina did not do enough on the penalty kill despite a solid stretch from Game 2 onward.

The Rangers’ power-play success was a major reason why they won the first two games, and it played a key role Thursday. 

Blake Wheeler, who shed his red non-contact jersey this week, was officially taken off long-term injured reserve Thursday, according to the NHL media site. 

After he was ruled out for the remainder of the regular season the day after his leg bent in a way it wasn’t supposed to, following a hit from Montreal’s Jayden Struble on Feb. 15, Wheeler returned to practice with the team May 6. 

Filip Chytil participated in the Rangers’ optional morning skate but did not suit up for a third straight game. 

Making an unexpected return to the lineup in Game 3 after a six-month recovery from a suspected concussion, Chytil was then unable to skate two days later due to what the team described as an “illness.”

He missed Game 4 but returned to practice before he was sidelined again in Game 5 due to “soreness.” 

The Rangers have yet to make Chytil available to the media. 

The Rangers reverted to the defensive pairings they used for a majority of the regular season. 

Captain Jacob Trouba returned to the right of K’Andre Miller, and Braden Schneider lined up alongside Erik Gustafsson.

The Ryan Lindgren-Adam Fox pairing remained intact. 

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