It was another overtime game in the Carolina Hurricanes’ Round 3 matchup against the Florida Panthers and another overtime winner scored by Matthew Tkachuk. Despite striking first the Hurricanes couldn’t get another one past Sergei Bobrovsky to put the game away.
Antti Raanta started for the first time since the Round 1 series versus the New York Islanders. Tkachuk scored his game-winning goal on the man advantage in overtime and that ended up being the difference in this contest.
Jalen Chatfield Nets First Playoff Goal
The Hurricanes went up 1-0 early in the first period of Game 2. Sebastian Aho threw the puck on net and Jalen Chatfield deflected it as he was crashing toward the goalie, tied up by a defender. The tally was Chatfield’s first playoff goal of his NHL career.
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After playing 33 minutes in the quadruple overtime loss in Game 1, Chatfield only played 12:25 in Game 2. He’s averaged 15:41 over the entire 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it was expected for him to not play a lot in this game. He made his presence felt with two hits and a block in addition to the goal. Shayne Gostisbehere is the only Hurricanes defender left without a goal in the 2023 Playoffs.
The last game that Raanta started was the Game 5 loss against the Islanders. He was solid last night with 24 saves on 26 shots, which was good for a .923 save percentage (SV%). He wasn’t tested a lot, but he stood his ground and gave his team a chance to win. It was the right call to give Frederik Andersen a day off so he could fully recover from the marathon Game 1 where he played a few seconds shy of 140 minutes.
In the end, everyone is talking about the goaltending performance of Bobrovsky, who is putting his name into the Conn Smythe Trophy conversation. He stopped 37 of 38 shots earning a .974 SV%. That brings his SV% for the 2023 Playoffs to .931 in 12 games, tied for second amongst the league leaders. In two games versus the Hurricanes, he’s allowed three goals on 103 shots.
Tkachuk Keeps Rolling
Tkachuk came up clutch again for the Panthers, scoring his second overtime game-winner in a row against the Hurricanes. The Panthers went on the power play after a hooking penalty was called on Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Twelve seconds into the ensuing man advantage Sam Bennett, Sam Reinhart, and Tkachuk made a quick tic-tac-toe play that finished with Tkachuk tapping the puck into an open net from a cross-seam pass.
Related: Draisaitl & Tkachuk Lead Early 2023 Conn Smythe Trophy Race
Tkachuk was fired up in this game, getting four shots on net and throwing three hits. He tried to help his goalie out by blocking two shots, displaying his willingness to sacrifice his body. He has been raising the intensity of his game as these playoffs roll on. The trade the Panthers made to acquire him keeps looking better as time goes on.
- Carolina outshot the Panthers 20-11 in the first period.
- Brent Burns only recorded one shot on goal.
- Sebastian Aho played the most of any Hurricanes forward with 19:05.
- Jordan Staal led both teams with seven shots.
- Hurricanes won 56% of the faceoffs.
- Brett Pesce had four blocks, the most of any player in the game.
- Each of the other five Hurricanes defenders (Burns, Gostisbehere, Chatfield, Jaccob Slavin & Brady Skjei) all had one block.
- Panthers are now 8-1 on the road in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With Game 3 set for Monday, May 22 in Florida, the Hurricanes will look to prevent going down 3-0 in the Eastern Conference Final. The Panthers have only won two of their five home games so far this postseason, so the Hurricanes will look to add another tally to their loss column on Monday.