Hurricanes win overtime thriller over Devils, advance to Eastern Conference Final

The Carolina Hurricanes are moving on.

Moving on to the Eastern Conference finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Moving on after beating the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in overtime in Game 5 of their second-round series on a Jesper Fast’s power-play goal.

Fast scored with 12:51 left in the OT, redirecting a Jesperi Kotkaniemi shot past goalie Akira Shmid.

The Hurricanes now will await the winner of the second-round Eastern series between the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers have a 3-1 lead in their series.

Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns each scored for the Canes in regulation with shots from the points. Timo Meier had a goal and assist for the Devils, scoring on a second-period power play, and Dawson Mercer had the game’s first goal.

Devils defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler was called for delay of game in overtime after flipping a puck over the glass. The Canes went to the power play with 14:34 left in the OT, with a chance to end it, and Fast did.

The Hurricanes again turned to goalie Frederik Andersen, who made his sixth straight playoff start, while the Devils went with Schmid in the elimination game.

Andersen fought the pucks at times, giving up a rebound that led to Meier’s power-play score in the second period. But Andersen made his share of big saves, stopping Ondrej Palat one-on-one from point-blank range midway through the third.

In what was a tense, tight-checking game from the start, with both teams showing playoff intensity and the willingness to make the plays.

Takeaways from Game 5

Brent Burns and Timo Meier are said to be good buddies from their time together with the San Jose Sharks. But Burns put a big smack on Meier in the second period that had Canes fans on their feet and roaring. Meier is no small man at 6-1 and 220 pounds but the 6-5 Burns tattooed him in the Caroliana zone.

What if? Nathan Bastian had a chance to give the Devils a 3-1 lead late in the second period but his swat in front went wide of the net. Less than a minute later, Burns winged one from the right point for the tying goal with 38 seconds left in the period.

Of note, historically: Burns became the first NHL defenseman 38 or older to score in back-to-back playoff games since Niklas Lidstrom in 2011.

There was some gamesmanship from Devils coach Lindy Ruff. In the pregame warmups he did not have Jack Hughes take line rushes and had Hughes’ little brother, Luke, teamed with defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

When the game started, Jack Hughes was centering a line with Timo Meier and Erik Haula, with the Canes’ Jordan Staal often on the ice across from him. Luke Hughes was not with Hamilton.

Did he or didn’t he? The Canes’ Jaccob Slavin was initially credited with Carolina’s first goal with his shot from the left point. Then, it was Kotkaniemi, who appeared to get a piece of the puck in the slot. Then a scoring change and the goal went back to Slavin. Finally, officially: it was Slavin with the goal, Jordan Martinook with the assist.

Yes, the scoring machine, Martinook. That was his 10th point of the series, with points in all five games.

Another strong game from the Canes’ fourth line, with Mackenzie MacEachern on a wing with Paul Stastny and Derek Stepan. They did their job, forechecking, hounding pucks.

The Devils’ Michael McLeod is such an underrated player. The center won 14 of 18 draws in regulation and denied the Canes’ Jesper Fast the chance to score the go-ahead goal in the third with a strong defensive play after Schmid fumbled the puck behind the net and Fast had an open look.

Teravainen skates with Canes

Teuvo Teravainen was on the ice with the Carolina Hurricanes for Thursday’s morning skate ahead of Game 5 against the New Jersey Devils wearing a yellow no-contact jersey, his first practice with his teammates since breaking his hand exactly four weeks earlier.

At the early end of an expected 4-8 week recovery window after the New York IslandersJean-Gabriel Pageau broke his left hand with a slash in the second game of the first round, Teravainen is still visibly favoring his right hand but is also clearly making progress — and eager to return. He went through a limited practice Wednesday at the team’s Morrisville practice facility.

“It’s been hard, of course,” Teravainen said. “I’ve never really been out of the playoffs. I wish I was playing games, but the team’s doing really good.”

Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour has continually pushed Teravainen’s potential return down the road, but on Wednesday he started leaving the door open a crack for Teravainen to return if the Hurricanes close out the Devils and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

“He will not be playing this series, that’s for sure,” Brind’Amour said.

Teravainen said he didn’t realize how badly he was injured right away, which allowed him — as Islanders coach Lane Lambert famously pointed out — to finish the power-play shift after the slash.

“My whole hand and fingers went numb. I didn’t feel it,” Teravainen said. “Then there was a whistle and I looked at my hand and saw what was wrong.”

“He came back to the bench and there was blood everywhere,” Jesperi Kotkaniemi interjected.

Teravainen turned to his right and looked at him blankly. Kotkaniemi smiled, then shrugged.

“Come on, make it dramatic,” he said.

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Raanta available

Antti Raanta was expected to dress as Frederik Andersen’s backup Thursday night after missing the previous three games due to illness — a bug that ran through most of his family and left him largely confined to his hotel room while the team was in New Jersey.

He practiced Monday but still wasn’t full strength to dress Tuesday, and it wasn’t until the team returned home Wednesday that Raanta finally felt OK.

“Yesterday it was good to get some work in,” Raanta said. “I felt good afterward.”

Andersen left the ice first, a sign that he’ll make a season-high sixth straight start. No other lineup changes are expected for the Hurricanes.

Canes want to end it now

There’s no question about it: the Canes want to do it now, tonight, this game.

The Canes have a chance to close out their playoff series with Devils in Game 5. The last thing they want is to breathe new life into a young, dangerous team and extend the series and make the job a lot tougher.

“They can turn it on at any time,” Canes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said after the morning skate Thursday. “As we saw against a high-class team like the Rangers last series, they came back and won that one. Obviously, we’d like to get the job done but we’ll put our best foot forward tonight and do our best.”

The Devils lost the first two games of their first-round series against the Rangers, both at home. They then won twice at Madison Square Garden and went on to take the series in seven games. In Game 5 of that series, the Devils won 4-0.

“We’ve got to give our best effort, we know that,” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said after Thursday’s skate. ”That’s no different from the last game or the game before that. You prepare to win the game that’s in front of you.”

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Goalie surprise

Equipment manager Jorge Alves, the Hurricanes’ long-time practice goalie and 8-second NHL veteran, strapped on the gear during Thursday’s morning skate to let Andersen and Raanta leave early, Pyotr Kochetkov and Zach Sawchenko having practiced earlier with the extra players.

When Alves skated out and started stretching, Mackenzie MacEachern and Jesse Puljujarvi, unaware of Alves’ side hustle – or his 2016 cameo against the Tampa Bay Lightning – after joining the team late in the season, were visibly shocked to see the guy who sharpens their skates on the ice with them.

“I thought (Kochetkov) was coming out late, to be honest,” MacEachern said. “I thought ‘Kooch’ got a little smaller.”

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The Hurricanes went into Game 5 with the best home winning percentage of any NHL team in the playoffs since Brind’Amour took over in 2018-19 (.700, 21-9). ... With nine points in the first four games of the series, Jordan Martinook is one point behind Bates Battaglia (2002 vs. the Montreal Canadiens) and Cory Stillman (2006 vs. the Buffalo Sabres) for the franchise record for most points in a playoff series. A goal or assist Thursday would tie the franchise record for streaks (four and five games, respectively) in those categories. ... Martinook briefly had 10 points, but his assist on Jesper Fast’s goal Tuesday was taken away upon review. “I figured it was 50-50,” Martinook said later.

Hurricanes don’t have McDavid, they have Martinook. Right now, that’s almost as good