Will the NY Islanders face Frederik Andersen in Game 6?
Goaltender Frederik Andersen has won 56 games for the Carolina Hurricanes in the last two regular seasons but has yet to appear in a playoff game. That could change for Game 6 at UBS Arena against the New York Islanders based on what was observed at the Canes practice on Thursday.
The 33-year-old received the starter's workload at practice on Thursday, a usually reliable indicator as to who will be between the pipes for the next game. Andersen has been unavailable for the last three games of the series with something that was first disclosed as an illness but later changed to an injury. When asked if he was feeling one hundred percent after practice, he stated, “I’m on the ice, so yeah.”
“Yep. There’s a chance,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Thursday when asked if Andersen could get the start. “He’s definitely like we said — earlier, there was no chance, and he’s definitely right there (now).”
Andersen was in net three times against the Islanders in the regular season, allowing five goals on Oct. 28, one of the Isles' best all-around games of the season, but won the next two, stopping 50 of 53 shots in a pair of Carolina wins. The Hurricanes used a goalie rotation all season, making a change at this juncture, despite Antti Raanta's strong play not a deviation from what was anticipated before the start of the series. If Andersen starts and falters in Game 6, Brind'Amour could go back to a rested Raanta for Game 7 at home at PNC Arena, a place he hadn't lost at until Game 5 on Friday night.
"I don't think it [Andersen getting the start] changes anything for us regardless of who they play, said Islanders head coach Lane Lambert. "We have to play our game and do things offensively that we need to do to give ourselves the best chance to score."