Game 2 certainly was not the Carolina Hurricanes’ prettiest game of the postseason. Despite being largely outplayed by the Islanders and suffering several injuries, including one which sidelined starting goaltender Petr Mrazek, the Canes were able to steal another road playoff game.
All of Carolina’s offense came within the first two minutes of the third period, leading Isles’ coach Barry Trotz to proclaim after the game that the Hurricanes “had 48 seconds of pretty good hockey.”
The first of the pair of goals began in the Hurricanes’ defensive zone with Saku Maenalanen bodying down a puck that was wrapped along the glass. Protecting the puck from the pinching Devon Toews, Maenalanen takes a look towards the middle and recognizes that center Lucas Wallmark is open.
Wallmark realizes that, with Toews pinching, the left defenseman has vacated his position and winger Matt Martin is filling in. With Martin’s stick at his waist instead of on the ice, Wallmark recognizes that a bank pass in neutral ice is possible.
Wallmark’s pass finds playoff hero Warren Foegele. Foegele receives the puck in stride and catches Robin Lehner leaning off of his angle. Foegele spots the opening on the blocker side and makes no mistake.
With the right defenseman having to cover a lot of ground and therefore leaving Foegele a lot of space, the left hand shot is able to pull the puck to his forehand and wire it past Lehner.
Just 48 seconds later, the Canes would strike again on a Nino Niederreiter redirection. Jaccob Slavin would register his 10th assist of the playoffs on the goal, but it was his stick in the neutral zone which stymied an Islanders rush and kickstarted Carolina’s breakout.
The Canes execute a clean breakout and gain zone entry fairly easily.
After about 20 seconds of sustained pressure, the puck squirts loose to the corner. Niederreiter loses the race to Brock Nelson, but ties up Nelson allowing game one overtime hero Jordan Staal to retrieve the puck and send it back to Jaccob Slavin. Slavin walks the line and dishes to Teuvo Teravainen who has curled up to the blue line and presents as an option.
Teravainen’s trek to the blue line slowly pulls an Islander defenseman out to him, but he has time to get a shot through to the net.
Niederreiter fights through Nelson holding on to his stick, eventually dumping Nelson to the ice.
Nelson pops right back up, but not in time to prevent the former Islander draft pick from redirecting Teravainen’s wrist shot and tallying the eventual game-winner.
The Canes will return Wednesday up 2-0 to a raucous crowd in Raleigh, but will likely need a more complete offensive effort in order to take a stranglehold on the series.