A day after clinching their fourth straight playoff berth, the Carolina Hurricanes got the full New York Islanders experience in a 2-1 loss in a brutal game of hockey.
There wasn’t much happening for either team for 59 minutes of the game, as shots finished up tied at 21-21 with less than 20 combined high-danger scoring chances in the entire game.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring off a bad turnover from the Canes in the second period, and that was all the scoring until the final minute of the game. Vincent Trocheck scored with the extra skater with 56 seconds left to play, but New York scored with 14 seconds to go to hand the Hurricanes the loss in the toughest of fashions.
Frederik Andersen and Ilya Sorokin battled between the pipes, with both goalies playing well despite a lack of too much against them.
While scoreless, the first period was a vast improvement over Thursday night’s awful start for the Canes, as the energy level was high from the very first shift, which featured two prime chances for Derek Stepan.
The Canes controlled a lot of the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the Islanders 12-7 while killing off two penalties with elite efficiency. Carolina had one power play of its own that was fruitless, with the best look a wide-open net for Martin Necas who shot it right into Sorokin to waste a grade-A pass from Seth Jarvis.
The second period wasn’t great though, as the Canes got outshot 8-1, and it was particularly bad for Ethan Bear. Shortly after the Canes killed off a Max Domi penalty, which was taken after a Bear turnover, Bear lost the puck behind Carolina’s net.
The Islanders got it and found Pageau completely alone right in front of the crease, as Tony DeAngelo found himself in no man’s land. Pageau converted the highest of danger chances to break open the scoring.
The rest of the period wasn’t too much better for the Hurricanes, who capped off a tough second frame with a terrible power play.
The third period was a lot of the same, as chances were hard to come by for either team as the game just kind of trudged along.
Some action finally came with about seven minutes to go, as Andrei Svechnikov went to the box for clearing the puck over the glass. The Canes’ PK came to an end early as Zach Parise got whistled for tripping.
While neither team scored during the special teams period of play, things ramped up a little bit in terms of the pace of the game.
The Hurricanes pulled Andersen with just over 2:30 to play, and it paid off with just under a minute left in the game.
The Canes applied constant pressure with the extra man, and the puck made its way through some net-front traffic to Trocheck, who blasted one home on the backdoor to even things at 1-1 with 56.8 second to play.
TROCHEK! Game is tied 1-1!@Canes l #LetsGoCanes pic.twitter.com/4OuURYc2Mc— Bally Sports: Canes (@CanesOnBally) April 9, 2022
But as soon as things looked good for the Canes, suddenly they didn’t.
New York won the game with 14.1 seconds left on the clock, as Kyle Palmieri held off Brady Skjei behind the net and ripped a shot past Andersen with little interference from Skjei.
And while the Hurricanes have their playoff spot sealed, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left to play for. With their recent stretch, the Canes’ lead atop the Metro has shrunk to just two points over the New York Rangers with now the same amount of games played.
Granted, a Metro win will mean a playoff meeting with either Boston or Tampa while second place would mean Pittsburgh, but you still don’t play for second.
The Canes will be back in action Sunday at home against Anaheim.