NHL: Hurricanes eliminate Devils with OT goal in Game 5

Jesper Fast tipped in the winning goal on an overtime power play as the Carolina Hurricanes eliminated the New Jersey Devils with a 3-2 victory in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday in Raleigh, N.C.

The decisive goal came 7:09 into the extra session when Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s shot was redirected into the net. That put the Hurricanes ahead for the first time in the game.

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“There was a lot of screaming going on in that pile,” Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei said of the celebration after the game-winner.

Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns had Carolina’s goals in regulation and goalie Frederik Andersen made 27 save for the Hurricanes, who will have home ice in the Eastern Conference finals, regardless of whether they play Florida or Toronto.

Dawson Mercer and Timo Meier scored for the Devils, who scored more than one goal for only the second game in the series. Akira Schmid stopped 36 shots.

“It’s frustrating, but we had a great year,” Devils center Jack Hughes said after the game. “It definitely sucks that we’re out now, but we have a bright future ahead of us.”

This was the first overtime game of a series in which the Hurricanes won all three of their home games. Carolina improved to 3-0 in overtime this postseason, with Fast ending two of those games.

New Jersey’s Jonas Siegenthaler was sent to the box at 5:36 of overtime for delay of game after sending the puck over the glass to set up Carolina’s man advantage.

The Devils didn’t put a shot on goal for the first seven minutes of the third period. Carolina outshot New Jersey 11-5 in the period for a 31-26 shots advantage through regulation.

Mercer’s goal came with 4:54 remaining in the opening period after the Hurricanes had the best scoring chances. Meier’s pass set up Mercer, who was charging down the right side, for the shot.

Slavin’s goal came 50 seconds into the second period to tie the score as his shot from just inside the blue line made it all the way past Schmid.

Carolina forward Jordan Martinook assisted on Slavin’s goal, and he matched a franchise record for points in a playoff series with 10.

New Jersey went back in front just eight seconds into a power play. Meier knocked in a rebound at 7:15 of the second.

“We had some looks and we had some opportunities to put the game away,” Hughes added. “We had a couple of good efforts in this series, but just not good enough.”

That proved to be true in the final minute of the second period, as Burns tied the score with the second goal by a Carolina defenseman in the frame when he beat Schmid at 19:22 for an unassisted goal.

“It was enormous to go into the third period tied,” Skjei said of Burns’ goal. “Obviously, we didn’t want to go back to Jersey. We wanted to finish it off at home.”

Game 5 was the only contest in the series without an in-game goalie switch.

–Field Level Media

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