The Carolina Hurricanes were unable to eliminate the New York Islanders earlier this week, but in Game 6, they punched their ticket to round two.
This was another low-scoring game between two elite defensive teams. New York got on the board first and maintained a 1-0 lead for about two full periods. It wasn’t until the third frame was halfway over that the Hurricanes evened things up.
Forward Sebastian Aho was the man to tie the game at one, doing so with his team-leading fourth goal of the playoffs. In overtime, Paul Stastny‘s third goal of the postseason ended the Islanders’ season and sent the Canes to round two for the third consecutive year.
The Carolina Hurricanes are on to round two of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This matchup featured a division winner against a team that snuck into the playoffs in the last few days of the regular season, yet the upset seemed to be a popular pick. The Hurricanes, however, proved the doubters wrong and took down the Islanders.
Aho ended up being the top point-getter in this series with seven points (four goals and three assists). Brent Burns, in his first playoff series with Carolina, led the team with five assists.
For the Islanders, the best player was goaltender Ilya Sorokin. He was stout for the Isles throughout the first round, and he kept his squad in this Game 6. In the end, he and his teammates couldn’t do enough to prevent their season from coming to an end.
Outside of one five-goal outburst per team, this was the defense-first series that it was expected to be. The Hurricanes just have more talent than the Islanders, even with a few key injuries. The better team moved on in this series.
Carolina becomes the first team in the Eastern Conference to advance to the second round. It will await the winner of the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers who will meet for Game 6 of their first-round series on Saturday night.