4.25.24 Notebook

RALEIGH, NC. - Moments before Thursday night's Game 3 puck drop, Carolina Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour dropped some unfortunate news on the Bally Sports South broadcast.

During the pre-game interview with Tripp Tracy, Brind'Amour revealed that forward Jesper Fast, who suffered an upper-body injury during the team's regular-season finale against the Columbus Blue Jackets, is not likely to play in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"He got checked out again and whatever the findings were, it doesn't look like he's going to be back. That's all I could tell you," Brind'Amour continued on the subject after his team's win. "It's not good news for us."

A brutal turn of events, it was initially believed that Fast was going to miss a matter of days.  Now, after playing in 73 of the team's 82 regular season games, the Canes will be without one of their most trusted wingers.

Fast played a major role in last year's postseason, scoring not one but two overtime winners.

Re-signed to a two-year contract last summer, the 32-year-old is one of two key injuries that the Canes are now dealing with this postseason. Defenseman Brett Pesce is not expected to play in any remaining Round 1 games after suffering a lower-body injury in Monday's Game 2.

Today's Skate & Looking Forward To Tomorrow...

Moving forward without Fast, the Canes' trip to UBS Arena on Friday featured a limited skate, with just 10 players on the ice.

Dylan Coghlan, Max Comtois, Jack Drury, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brendan Lemieux, Scott Morrow, and Stefan Noesen put some shots on Pyotr Kochetkov and Spencer Martin, as the rest of the skaters used the day to stay off the ice.

"I'm always willing to skate," Noesen shared with a smile. "We didn't play very much last night, our line, so [we decided] to get some ice in. With a 2 p.m. game tomorrow, some of the other guys need more rest than us."

The impending afternoon start time played a role in several of today's decisions and some of the things Brind'Amour and his staff are thinking about for tomorrow - mainly if they'll go back to Frederik Andersen in net again or not.

Andersen has been magnificent in the first three games of the series, going 3-0 with a .922 save percentage (SV%).  However, it was the first time since last year's playoffs that he'd play three games in a row.

With just one day in between games, and a fresh Pyotr Kochetkov waiting in the wings, would the Canes consider getting the young netminder in the mix?

"Last night was a busy night for (Andersen)," Brind'Amour answered after saying that things are still up in the air. "We'll make that decision here shortly."

Kochetkov's last start came on Sunday, April 14 in Chicago, a win in a string of four consecutive to end the regular season.

One of the best goalies in the league following the team's players-only meeting in Vancouver on December 9, the 24-year-old went 19-7-3 with a .923 SV% in his final 30 appearances.

If Necessary, Monday's Start Time...

In the moments following the Canes' Game 3 victory on Thursday night, the NHL announced the schedule for a potential Game 5.

Should the Islanders win tomorrow, the second chance to put them away would start at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 30 at PNC Arena.

Tickets for the game are on sale now and can be purchased here.