After back-to-back defeats in New York, Carolina returned to PNC Arena with a chance to push the Rangers to the brink of elimination with a win and they did just that. A 3-1 win in game five headlines a very solid team performance as the Hurricanes recapture the series lead and will go to New York with a chance to win the series and move into the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2019.
Special teams has been a major weakness away from the sancitity of PNC Arena but it was the Canes special teams that took the headlines in this one as the Hurricanes grabbed the first goal of the game shorthanded and then scored the game winning goal when they tallied their first powerplay marker of the series. For two units that had struggled to do their jobs to both get confidence boosts by scoring could be huge moving forward.
New York’s goal did come on the powerplay so the penalty kill scored as may goals as they gave up in this one but that works for the Canes as long as they can get goals elsewhere and boy did they in this one. It was a game where a lot of droughts ended. Carolina’s first powerplay goal since the Boston series and two top six players would correct their scoreless timelines by tallying goals in this one.
Vincent Trocheck grabbed Carolina’s shorthanded goal in the first period and allowed the Hurricanes to hold a lead for the first time in a while. On the next powerplay (a weak call after a clear missed embellishment) New York would tie it and the first would end that way. Carolina would score on the powerplay in the second but the player that sealed the game needed this.
Andrei Svechnikov scored the goal to make it 3-1 when he was in alone. His only major impact on this postseason before this point was his 2-goal game in game six against Boston. If Carolina can wake their sleeping giant of a second line up, they’re going to be in a great position moving forward. This game was absolutely fantastic for building their confidence.