Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers plays the...

Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers plays the puck in the third period against Brett Pesce #22 and Ian Cole #28 of the Carolina Hurricanes during Game Four of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 in New York City. Credit: Jim McIsaac

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – The simple arithmetic staring the Rangers in the face in this second-round playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes is that the Blueshirts will have a maximum of three home games, and you need four wins to win the series.

That means, in order to advance to the Eastern Conference final, the Rangers are going to have to win at least one road game, in Raleigh, N.C., where they will play Game 5 in the series Thursday night at PNC Arena.

“You're going into a tough building, with a team that plays really well at home,’’ Rangers forward Tyler Motte said Wednesday, before the team left for Raleigh. “You're going to have to win one (road game) at some point to win the series. So our mindset doesn't change … we're obviously going to put our best foot forward and try and make it this next game.’’

The Rangers have won two straight games in the series to tie the best-of-seven at 2-2. Both games were at Madison Square Garden, however. They lost the first two games of the series in Raleigh, 2-1 in overtime in Game 1 and 2-0 in Game 2.

Carolina, which won the Metropolitan Division title in the regular season, has been perfect at home in the playoffs, winning all six games they’ve played there. They’ve lost all five games they’ve played outside North Carolina, but since they have home ice advantage, they can get away with that.

Rangers coach Gerard Gallant isn’t intimidated by having to win a game on the road.

“You don't worry,’’ he said. “It doesn't matter what's happened in the past; it's what you're going to do going forward. And we played them two real good games in the building last week, and, you know, we didn't get a win, but we played two good hockey games. So we’ve got to keep working, keep playing, and it's going to be a big Game 5 in their building.’’

The Rangers did win one of two games they played in Carolina in the regular season. Backup goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made 44 saves to shut the Hurricanes out, 2-0, March 20 on the second night of a back-to-back, following a 2-1 win over the Lightning in Tampa the night before.

The way No. 1 goaltender Igor Shesterkin is playing for the Rangers right now – he stopped 73 of 75 shots in the two wins in Games 3 and 4 at the Garden – there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t replicate Georgiev’s regular season feat if he needs to. And the way the Rangers played in front of Shesterkin the last two games had Mika Zibanejad feeling pretty confident about their chances.

“This is a good team we're playing against, but I think we might have shown a little bit too much respect in the regular season,’’ Zibanejad said. “Their forecheck is huge for them. And I feel like the same thing goes for us. And they're playing fast, but I think if we can try to do a good job again to disturb their forecheck and not feed into their transition, I think we give ourselves a pretty good chance.

“And obviously, we have Igor back there,’’ he added. “So I think it's just understanding that we are a good team. We're trusting ourselves, we're trusting the way we want to play. And when we do that over a longer period of time, we give ourselves the best chance to win.’’

Zibanejad was asked if it is more fun to play well in front of the fans at home, and get them revved up and making noise, or to play so well in a road game that it quiets a loud, hostile arena.

He smiled.

“I mean, obviously I would like to hear a sold-out Garden, and that Game 7 (against Pittsburgh, in the first round) was unbelievable,’’ he said. “But it's a pretty good feeling to hear a quiet away building as well.’’

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