Carolina Hurricanes Punch Tickets To Eastern Conference Finals After 3-2 Win Over New Jersey Devils; Win Series, 4-1

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Contributor
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We officially have our first team in the NHL’s Conference Finals!

After taking out the New Jersey Devils in a 3-2 overtime thriller in Game 5 to win the Eastern Conference Semifinals, 4-1, the Carolina Hurricanes are now just four wins away from clinching their spot into the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.

Playing hero for the Canes was Jesper Fast, who scored the game-winning goal for his fifth in the postseason. Scoring the other two goals for Carolina were Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Brent Burns, while Dawson Mercer and Timo Meier put up New Jersey’s goals.

This is the first Eastern Conference Finals berth for the Carolina Hurricanes since 2019, where they faced off against the Boston Bruins and were swept, 4-0.

The Carolina Hurricanes now await the winner of the series between the Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs, with the Cardiac Cats currently on top of that series, 3-1. Game 5 is Friday night at 7:00 PM ET on TNT.

Oh, man. This is just absolutely great.

For me, this potentially sets up a dream Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers.

If you don’t know, I’m originally from Virginia, and growing up in the southern part of the state, I lived pretty close to Raleigh — they were definitely old stomping grounds to yours truly. Nowadays, I live in the Sunshine State, and with me gravitating to South Florida, they’re my current stomping grounds here at 32 years old.

So as you see, I have a lot of attachment to both teams.

Heck, I still remember when the Canes won the 2006 Stanley Cup and I was watching everything unfold with my dad:

It was also the same year my Miami Heat won their very first NBA championship in franchise history, so everything was pretty special for me:

So many memories … good times indeed.

Now obviously I would root for the Florida Panthers if the Cats and Carolina Hurricanes do meet up in the Eastern Conference Finals — after all, the Panthers are my actual team (and it’s Miami, baby) — but at the same time, I wouldn’t be mad whatsoever if we got beat by the Canes. (RELATED: REPORT: Philadelphia Flyers Name Daniel Briere Permanent GM, Hire Keith Jones As President Of Hockey Operations)

It’s just a dream scenario for me, so yeah, I’m loving this Carolina victory.

Go Canes!