Hurricanes G McElhinney might start, make history

FILE PHOTO: Apr 28, 2019; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Curtis McElhinney (35) makes a save against the New York Islanders during the second period of game two of the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

If Curtis McElhinney starts in goal for the Carolina Hurricanes against the New York Islanders in Game 3 of the second-round playoff series on Wednesday, he would make history. According to, McElhinney would be the oldest goalie to make his first Stanley Cup playoff start. At 35 years, 343 days, the journeyman goaltender would be 37 days older than Les Binkley, who made his first postseason start for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Oakland Seals on April 8, 1970. McElhinney could replace regular starter Petr Mrazek, who is listed as day-to-day after sustaining a lower-body injury Sunday in the second period of Carolina's 2-1 win. McElhinney came on in relief and stopped all 17 shots he faced as the Hurricanes took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. An 11-year veteran who began his NHL career with the Calgary Flames in 2007-08, McElhinney played for four other NHL teams before joining the Hurricanes this season. He made relief appearances in the playoffs with the Flames in 2009 and the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. "I don't think at this point in my career anything surprises me," McElhinney said on "I've been through so much. I'm grateful for the opportunity I do have right now. It's one of those moments you check off your bucket list. Just one more challenge to look forward to." Claimed off waivers from the Maple Leafs on Oct. 2, two days before Carolina opened the 2018-19 season, McElhinney started 33 games during the regular season, the highest total of his career. He compiled a 20-11-2 record with a 2.58 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. Though Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said Mrazek might be ready for Game 4, he is prepared to rely on his backup. "It's just gas and go," McElhinney said. "I've been around long enough and I've been thrown into those situations before. The playoff atmosphere is a little bit different, but the game itself is the same. I've felt pretty good all year long." --Field Level Media