Done in 5: Takeaways From Hurricanes’ Series Clincher vs. Devils

The Carolina Hurricanes are on their way to the Eastern Conference Final of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The relatively tight game needed overtime to get settled. Jesper Fast was the hero on the second power play of the game for the Hurricanes in the extra frame. Fast got a piece of Jesperi Kotkaniemi‘s shot from outside the right faceoff circle to clinch the series for the Hurricanes.

Related: 3 Reasons a Hurricanes vs. Oilers Cup Final is Best For Hockey

The Hurricanes were able to play a full team game still without Andrei Svechnikov, Max Pacioretty, and Teuvo Teravainen. Without those three top-six players the Hurricanes were still able to defeat the New Jersey Devils in only five games. The Hurricanes’ depth is unmatched and this series proved that.

Two Blue Line Goals

Jaccob Slavin scored the first goal for the Hurricanes. His shot from the point bounced off the ice before it got to Akira Schmid and snuck past him. Slavin was the only defender from the Hurricanes to score a goal in their Round 1 series versus the New York Islanders.

Brent Burns Carolina Hurricanes
Brent Burns, Carolina Hurricanes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Brent Burns was able to pot his own shot from the blue line, as he scored an unassisted marker in the last minute of the second period to tie the game up 2-2 going into the final frame. He helped the Hurricanes close out the series with two goals and an assist in the last two games as they now await the winner of the Toronto Maple Leafs versus Florida Panthers series.

Andersen is the Man

There is no taking the net away from Frederik Andersen. He has started in six straight games since returning from injury. He has five wins and five quality starts (QS) in that time. Outside of the 8-4 blowout loss in Game 3, he has been stellar and last night was no exception. Only two goals against on 29 shots gave him a .931 save percentage (SV%) on the night.

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Although he has only played in six of the Hurricanes’ 11 games this postseason, Andersen has a 1.80 goals-against average (GAA) and a .931 SV%. His even strength save percentage (EVSV%) is more impressive at .936.

Over in 5

It took contributions up and down the lineup to give the Hurricanes what they needed to defeat the high-flying Devils. Fast continued his strong postseason play by getting a piece of Kotkaniemi’s shot for his fifth goal of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kotkaniemi scored three goals and added two assists in the Round 2 series. Shayne Gostisbehere collected three assists versus the Devils.

Jesper Fast Carolina Hurricanes
Jesper Fast of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime against the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Second Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs (Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images)

The other two defenders to score at least one goal in this series were Brett Pesce and Brady Skjei. That’s three more defenders getting on the scoresheet than last series. The Hurricanes’ defence has been scoring all year and it was good to see them really heat up in the second round.

Interesting Statistics

  • Burns led the Hurricanes in ice time with 26:24
  • Jordan Martinook and Jesper Fast played physical with six credited hits each.
  • Devils won 60% of the faceoffs
  • Hurricanes only had nine blocks.
  • Burns took six shots in Game 5 for the third time in the 2023 Playoffs

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With Round 2 in the dust behind them, the Hurricanes look to the Panthers/Maple Leafs series to see who their next opponents will be. Round 3 will be their toughest challenge so far this season. With the depth on this team, the stellar goaltending, and the defence heating up offensively, there is nothing they can’t do.