by Dan Adkisson
The Hurricanes have taken a vice-like grip in their playoff series against the New York Islanders, with Carolina Forward Jesper Fast netting the overtime goal that secured a 4-3 win to give them a 2-0 series lead.
In an exciting encounter, the Isles managed to get back from two goals down to score three times and lead nine minutes into the third period. However, the Hurricanes were not to be stopped and leveled things three minutes later.
Five minutes into the overtime period, Jordan Staal found Fast, who eased the puck past Ilya Sorokin to secure a big win that sent the home fans wild.
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Now, betting on Carolina is one thing, but the odds of the Islanders fighting back from this position are very slim, not least because the two defeats have been of the heartbreaking variety.
In game one, they were edged out 2-1, and this recent loss will have bruised Lane Lambert’s men, but he does at least have the benefit of home advantage for the next two games, and the Islanders will need to come out all guns blazing for game three at the UBS Arena.
The game did come at a cost for the Hurricanes, though, with forward Teuvo Teravainen breaking his hand in the third period.
The Finnish star’s glove came into contact with Islanders captain Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s stick, and he is due to have surgery on Thursday, an incident commented on by Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour;
“He’s out. He got slashed, he broke his hand,”
“With the puck, takes a shot, [Pageau] absolutely tomahawk chops him. Go take a look at the video. He’s out for the series. He has to have surgery tomorrow. There you go. So, I’m a little [ticked], to be honest with you.”
Teravainen has bagged 37 points in 68 regular season games and is a proven performer when it comes to the Stanley Cup playoffs, scoring 32 points in 50 post-season games.
The Hurricanes are already without his fellow forwards Andrei Svechnikov and Max Pacioretty, and therefore, Teravainen will be glad of his team’s two-game lead.
The winner of this playoff series will meet either the Devils or Rangers in the second round, with the Hurricanes looking to secure their first Stanley Cup since 2006 and the Islanders seeking their first since 1983, which was the final success of a quartet of back-to-back Stanley Cups secured by the franchise.