Defenseman Brett Pesce and the Carolina Hurricanes will face the Florida Panthers or Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference finals. File Photo by BIll Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
May 12 (UPI) -- Winger Jesper Fast scored 7:09 into overtime to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a comeback win over the New Jersey Devils, winning the series and clinching a spot in the NHL Eastern Conference finals.
Defensemen Brent Burns and Jaccob Slavin scored in regulation for the Hurricanes in the 3-2 triumph Thursday in Raleigh, N.C. The Hurricanes trailed twice in regulation before forcing overtime, setting up Fast's clincher.
"I know it [the puck] hit me," Fast told reporters, when asked about his final shot. "I felt it and looked back and it was in the net. There are a lot of happy emotions."
The top-seeded Hurricanes, who beat the No. 2 Devils 4-1 in the series, will meet the No. 2 Toronto Maple Leafs or wild card Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference finals.
Devils forward Dawson Mercer beat Hurricanes goalie Frederik Anderson for the first goal of Game 5 with 4:54 remaining in the first period.
Slavin tied the score by beating Devils net minder Akira Schmid 50 seconds into the second period. Devils forward Timo Meier scored off a power play less than seven minutes later for another one-goal lead.
Burns then lit the lamp for the final time of regulation with 38 seconds remaining in the second period. Neither team scored over the final 2:38 of regulation.
Forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere then assisted Fast's game-winner in overtime to send the Hurricanes to the Eastern Conference finals.
The Hurricanes will face the Panthers or Maple Leafs next week in the conference finals. The Panthers, who lead that series 3-1, will battle the Maple Leafs in Game 5 at 7 p.m. EDT Friday in Toronto.
Later Thursday, the No. 2 Dallas Stars beat the wild card Seattle Kraken 5-2 in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals series in Dallas. Stars forward Roope Hintz scored twice and assisted another goal in the victory.
The Stars own 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven game series. The winner of the series will meet the top-seeded Vegas Golden Knights or No. 2 Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference finals.
Forward Wyatt Johnston lit the lamp 3:47 into Game 5 to give the Stars a 1-0 lead. Hintz scored again less than two minutes later. Fellow forward Joe Pavelski beat Kraken net minder Philipp Grubauer for a third time 35 seconds into the second period for a three goal advantage.
Kraken defenseman Adam Larsson and forward Jared McCann each scored after the Pavelski goal to cut into the deficit.
Hintz and forward Radek Faksa each scored for the Stars over the final 11:20 in the third period to clinch the victory.
Stars goalie Jake Oettinger logged 29 saves in the win. Grubauer stopped 16 of the Stars' 20 attempts on net. Game 6 of the series will be at 7 p.m. Saturday in Seattle. Game 7, if necessary, will be Monday in Dallas.
The Golden Knights will host the Oilers in Game 5 of the other Western Conference semifinals series at 10 p.m. Friday in Las Vegas.