2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Canes vs Islanders Game 5 Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes have been fighting the injury bug throughout their first-round series against the New York Islanders, and it got worse in Game 4. Jack Drury was crushed along the boards in the first five minutes of the game and never came back, while Max Pacioretty, Andrei Svechnikov, and Teuvo Teravainen will not be dressing for Game 5 on Tuesday.

Rod Brind'Amour Carolina Hurricanes
Rod Brind’Amour, Head Coach of the Carolina Hurricanes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Hurricanes have always been a team that wins by committee, which will give their depth players a chance to shine for the rest of the playoffs. Paul Stastny, Mackenzie MacEachern, Stefan Noesen and Jesper Fast all know their roles and have contributed goals in the series. MacEachern made his playoff debut in Game 4 and immediately made his mark. The ball is in the Hurricanes’ court, as they have their first opportunity to punch their ticket to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Tom Gulitti Twitter

Antti Raanta had the starter’s net during practice and is expected to get the nod tonight, and Derek Stepan will draw into the lineup after not playing the last game.

Injury Update

After tweaking something the other day, it looks like goaltender Frederick Andersen will be available to the Hurricanes for Game 5. However, Drury won’t play tonight, and Shayne Gostisbere left practice in discomfort but should be able to play.

Islanders Lineup

Stefan Rosner Twitter

Islanders’ Season on the Line

Since 1987, the Islanders are 7-15 in elimination games, and they have only won two series after facing elimination. In the 2021 playoffs they lost game seven against the Tampa Bay Lightning, after clawing back into the series by winning game six. In the Eastern Conference Finals of 2020 (against Tampa Bay), they won game five on the brink of elimination. But their season and postseason run ended the next game at the hands of the Lightning.

Still, the Islanders could claw their way back to at least win another game in this series. However, the last time the two teams met, in the 2019 Playoffs, the Hurricanes swept the team from Long Island, and there is a lot working against them in this series.

Islanders vs. Hurricanes: Game 5 Prediction

My Game 5 prediction is that Jesperi Kotkaniemi scores and finally gets the playoff monkey off of his back. Kotkaniemi had a nice point streak to end the season, with four goals and three assists, but he’s only taken three shots in this series. Look for him to claw his way back onto the scoresheet in this deciding game.

Jesse Puljujarvi Carolina Hurricanes
Jesse Puljujarvi, Carolina Hurricanes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Because depth is the name of the game in the playoffs, it only feels right to pick a depth player to make an impact. Jesse Puljujarvi was acquired at the deadline and has not made an impact thus far. He had great defensive metrics during the regular season but has not played much this postseason. If he is in the lineup, look for him to get this first point of the series.

Isles vs. Canes Stats

  • Kotkaniemi – All three shots on goal were at home.
  • Eight different forwards have scored for the Hurricanes, and four have scored multiple times (Sebastian Aho, Jesper Fast, Seth Jarvis, Stefan Noesen).
  • The Hurricanes have a few notable players without a goal yet: Jordan Staal, Shayne Gostisbehere, Brent Burns, Kotkaniemi, Brady Shjei, Brett Pesce, Jordan Martinook, Stepan, Drury and Puljujarvi.
  • In their 2019 series, the Hurricanes leading point scorer was Teuvo Teravainen, who had three goals and two assists in four games.
  • Staal and Martinook lead the Hurricanes with five high-danger scoring chances each (per NatStatTrick)