After two straight Carolina victories, it was in the third quarterfinal meeting up to proof for the New York Rangers.

And in front of the home crowd in Madison Square Garden, the team delivered exactly what was expected of them.

Rangers' Swedish star Mika Zibanejad offered in powerplay a lightning-fast shot from the left technical circle and put 1-0 just over halfway into the first period.

At the beginning of the middle period, he then passed to Chris Kreider behind goal, who slid around the goal cage and put 2-0.

"Played as we wanted"

Carolina reduced a few minutes later, but the guests did not come closer than that.

In Carolina's equalizer hunt, 44 shots were fired at Igor Sjestiorkin in the Rangers goal, but the Russian made a great match and saved 43 of them.

Instead, the visitors got to see Rangers make it 3-1 in an empty goal cage in the final minute, to the cheers of the home crowd.

- Finally we played the whole match, says Rangersforwardes Filip Chytil, reports

- In the first two periods, we played exactly as we wanted.

In the third period we did not go back home as in the first matches and I think the victory was well deserved.

The Rangers have leveled at 2-1 in matches, in the best of seven.

The teams will meet next time the night before Wednesday, Swedish time.

That match is also played in Madison Square Garden in New York.

Tampa Bay won again

Victor Hedman's Tampa Bay has at the same time put the knife to the throat of Florida - which won the NHL's basic series.

In its pursuit of the third straight Stanley Cup dent, Tampa has not given top-seeded Florida any breathing space in the quarterfinals.

In Sunday night's third game, it was 1-1 after the first period, but then Tampa Bay pulled away, just like before.

In front of the home crowd, Tampa Bay delivered two goals in the middle period, of which Hedman assisted to the 3-1 goal.

- It was really that important goal for us.

(Victor Hedman) makes a fantastic pass to "Kutj" (Nikita Kutjerov), says attacking star Steven Stamkos at the press conference.

In the final minutes, Florida's defeat was completed with two Tampa goals in an empty goal cage.

- They simply have more will.

When the puck is free, they win over us and they show more will, says Florida coach Andrew Brunette about Tampa's success.

This means that Tampa Bay leads 3-0 in matches and that Florida - with Patric Hörnqvist and Gustav Forsling - is forced to win the next match, which is also played in Tampa, the night before Tuesday Swedish time.