Category 5: Hurricanes head to Long Island for Games 3 & 4

Teuvo Teravainen had a scheduled hand surgery Thursday and will miss the rest of the series

Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen will miss the rest of Carolina’s first round series against the Islanders after his hand was broken on a slash by New York center Jean-Gabriel Pageau. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

The Hurricanes can take pride in being the only higher-seeded team to win both of their first two playoff games at home. Things will get tougher without Teuvo Teravainen.

The Carolina winger was scheduled to have surgery on a broken left hand suffered in Game 2 and is out for at least the rest of the series. It’s another blow to Carolina’s forward corps, which is already without Andrei Svechnikov and Max Pacioretty.

“You’re losing big pieces of your team, it’s hard,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Thursday as the team prepared to fly to Long Island for Friday’s Game 3 and Sunday’s Game 4. “But we’ve done it all year. We’ve found ways. We’re just gonna have to put somebody else in there and pick up the slack.”

1. While Teravainen is surely out for the rest of the first round series, there is a chance he could return if Carolina were to advance deeper in the playoffs.

“He’s getting pins put in there, so it’s pretty bad damage,” said Brind’Amour, who added that Teravainen’s surgery was scheduled for later Thursday, “I mean, I know your question is, ‘Is he gonna get back?’ Very, very doubtful. Certainly not anytime soon.”

When I asked Brind’Amour for the specifics on Teravainen’s injury — was it a broken hand, finger or thumb — he said hand. The recovery time for a hockey player with a broken hand is usually about 4-6 weeks.

Tyler Bertuzzi missed exactly a month earlier this season when he broke his hand on Oct. 15 while playing for the Red Wings and returned Nov. 15 after recovering from surgery. He then reinjured the hand Nov. 30 and missed six weeks after a second surgery.

That would put Teravainen’s possible return somewhere between May 18 and June 1 — the conference finals at the earliest.

Islanders coach Lane Lambert said he was “surprised” by Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour’s heated comments after the game regarding the slash by Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Teravainen that caused the injury.

“I’ve told you guys in the past I respect what Rod says,” Lambert said. “I was surprised at his comments last night. That play happens probably 25, 30 times a game. The player that was injured continued to play on for the rest of the power play. Our player’s an honest, hard player that certainly isn’t intending to injure anyone.”

2. Losing Teravainen creates several issues throughout the Hurricanes’ lineup. Not only was he playing on the top line with Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis, but he’s also a key part of both Carolina’s power play and penalty kill.

“Turbo’s an all-around player,” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said of Teravainen. “PP, PK, he’s one of our main forwards. Obviously, it sucks. But I think a lot of guys are gonna say it’s a next-man-up mentality and something we’ve got to just jump on board and pull through for him.”

Defenseman Brady Skjei agreed.

“Three key players that are out, it just gives an opportunity for other guys to step up and fill those roles,” he said. “Guys don’t need to change and try to play like Turbo and play like those kind of guys, but guys will have opportunities to play and hopefully can make the most of it.”

Lambert doesn’t expect Teravainen’s absence to significantly alter the challenge ahead for his team.

“They play the same way no matter who they have in the lineup,” Lambert said of the Hurricanes. “So we don’t expect any changes from that standpoint.”

3. Like the Hurricanes have prepared to move forward without Teravainen, the Islanders are looking ahead to Game 3 after their “frustration” that a high stick by Carolina forward Jordan Martinook on New York defenseman Scott Mayfield went uncalled in the sequence before Jesper Fast’s game-winning overtime goal in Game 2.

“I mean, it is what it is,” Mayfield said Thursday. “It’s all about tomorrow now.”

New York’s disappointment was compounded by the fact that the Hurricanes had six power plays while the Isles didn’t have any. Carolina knows what that feels like having often been on the wrong side of perceived lopsided calls.

“For the most part this year I feel like we’re usually on the other end of that, it seems like,” Skjei said. “So it’s nice to have one game like that swing our way.”

4. Brind’Amour seemed to insinuate that Antti Raanta would get his third straight playoff start in Game 3, though he said the decision wasn’t solidified.

“I imagine Freddie (Andersen) will get in there at some point, but Rants has played solid, got us two wins to this point, so I don’t know that we’re in a big rush to make any changes there,” he said.

Andersen didn’t dress for Wednesday’s Game 2 because of illness. Brind’Amour said he found out after the morning skate that rookie Pyotr Kochetkov would need to dress, but he anticipated Andersen will be available for Friday.

“He skated this morning, so he should be fine,” Brind’amour said.

5. With Teravainen out, Carolina was down to 12 healthy forwards on the roster. They addressed that by recalling left wing Mackenzie MacEachern from the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.

MacEachern, who played parts of four seasons with the Blues, had 11 goals and 19 assists in 37 games with Carolina’s top affiliate this year.

After missing nearly three months with an injury, the 29-year-old returned to the Wolves’ lineup in early February, but he really caught fire in the final 19 games of the season. During that stretch, MacEachern had eight goals and 12 assists for 20 points, including scoring in both of Chicago’s final two games as the team unsuccessfully tried to earn a playoff berth.

“He’s played really well,” Brind’Amour said. “Unfortunately, he was hurt, talking about injuries. He was basically hurt the whole year too. So just watching him this last stretch here when he was down there, (he was) really solid. He looks like he can jump right in. So he may have to.”

There were other options for the Hurricanes such as Vasily Ponomarev or Jamieson Rees, but neither has made their NHL debut yet, and Brind’Amour seemed more comfortable picking a player with a bit more experience in case he needs to be thrown into the middle of a playoff series. (Forwards Ponomarev, Rees, Ville Koivunen and Ryan Suzuki, defenseman Max Lajoie and goalie Zach Sawchenko were all recalled Thursday evening to be the team’s “black aces)

“That’s why you go get those (veteran) guys,” Brind’Amour said. “I guess we don’t really necessarily want him in there because then we’re down more people, but he’s definitely capable of getting in there.”

MacEachern has 11 goals and 19 points in 115 career NHL games, playing a career-high 55 games in 2019-20 with St. Louis.