Game Two Gets Physical & An Overtime Win for Carolina.

The Islanders were reminiscent of Philadelphia’s Broad Street Bullies.

It’s the best time of the year hockey wise, and I’m excited that Carolina made it into the playoffs for the fifth consecutive year. Last game was something else between Islanders penalties and Hurricanes injuries.

At least the Canes won, right?

Hurricanes center Paul Stastny started the game off with a goal at 5:49 in the first period, marking his first goal for Carolina in the postseason. Defenseman Jaccob Slavin earned his first assist of the playoffs as well. The game started to get more physical halfway through the period as Islanders center Casey Cizikas earned a double minor penalty for high-sticking against Carolina’s Sebastian Aho.

Islanders left winger Matt Martin’s interference penalty against Jordan Staal at twenty minutes in the first period led to the start of the second period being a powerplay for Carolina.

Doesn’t mean the action slowed down. Just four minutes later, New York’s Kyle Palmieri also got a double minor penalty for high-sticking, this time against Brett Pesce. That caused another powerplay for Carolina, where Stefan Noesen scored on a deflected shot to give the Hurricanes another point. The Islanders added points to the board when Palmieri and center Mathew Barzal scored.

Whether you like or hate him, Barzal is a pretty good player. Carolina center Seth Jarvis commented “We gotta be able to make strong plays, hard plays” when asked about limiting Barzal’s opportunities in the third period. Well, his opportunities were limited in a way when Islanders center Brock Nelson gave New York the lead at 9:18 in the third period. Carolina earned another point shortly after when defenseman Jaccob Slavin scored to tie up the game.

After no one else scored in the remainder of the third, Carolina right winger Jesper Fast won the game for Carolina in overtime.

Despite such a physical game, Canes goalie Anti Raanta had 26 saves and a .962 save percentage. While I personally would like to see Pyotr Kochetkov have some net time, I think that Raanta is a solid choice for defense and I can see him being in the net for the remainder of Round 1. For that reason, I pick him as my Hurricane Watch for this post.

Until next time, it’s good to be writing, fellow Caniacs.