Hurricanes Use Overtime Magic to Advance

It needed overtime once again, but the Hurricanes are off to the second round after beating Nashville in six games.
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If you came into Thursday night's game assuming you'd see either overtime or a Carolina Hurricanes comeback, you'd have pretty reasonable expectations with this way this series went. 

Game 6 of the Hurricanes-Predators series was one that saw Carolina needing one more win to move on in the best-of-seven series and the Predators needing a win to keep their hopes at another day in the postseason alive. Nashville would get on the board 1:44 into the first period. Nick Cousins would get to the net and re-direct a pass from Erik Haula past Alex Nedeljvkovic. 

The jubilation at Bridgestone Arena would be short lived as the Hurricanes would have a response less than five minutes later as Brock McGinn would beat Juuse Saros to tie things up.

The early pressure of Nashville would be the theme as they'd once again score within the first two minutes of the period in the second as Mikael Granlund would score 1:13 in and Ryan Johansen's powerplay goal would give Nashville a 3-1 lead. 

Carolina struggled to get chances on net in the first two periods but Sebastian Aho would cut into the lead with a powerplay goal to make it a 3-2 game. Carolina would get more chances towards Saros in the third and it would pay off as Dougie Hamilton would tie the game at the 13:59 mark of the third with his third goal of the playoffs to send things to overtime once again.

The fourth overtime would be the shortest one of this series. A deflected Jaccob Salvin shot by Sebastian Aho for his second goal of the game would beat Sarros just 1:06 into the first overtime but it also would also mark a Carolina comeback that saw them score three unanswered goals. 

The ability to come from behind wasn't something that was unexpected to Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour as he had witnessed before as he praised his players' ability to withstand adversity this season and getting themselves back into games. 

"It doesn't surprise me anymore. It's been like that all year. We've played games where we aren't great, we look like we're probably out of it and then they just get it together. You got a special group here and I know every coach would say that about their team. We're proving it over and over and over, and that's special". 

The Hurricanes now will see themselves battling for the first time ever in a playoff series, the Tampa Bay Lightning, the defending Stanley Cup champions.

The Lightning are entering this series after having knocked off the Florida Panthers in six games in the first round. Tampa Bay holds the season series edge over the Hurricanes going 4-3-1 this season. Game 1 of Carolina-Tampa Bay will start this weekend on a date to be determined. 

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