The Hurricanes turn to rookie goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov for game three

Carolina Hurricanes rookie goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov will start in Game 3 on Thursday night, trailing the New York Rangers 2-0 in their Eastern Conference second-round series.

Rookie Freddie Andersen lost Games 1 and 2 at Madison Square Garden, stopping 54 of 62 shots (.871 save percentage). That included a 4-3 double overtime loss in Game 2 on Tuesday.

“Freddie played really well. He played a lot, too. I think giving him a little rest is the best thing,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said Thursday.

Despite technically being a rookie this season, Kochetkov is not a rookie in the playoffs. He played in four games for the Hurricanes in the 2022 playoffs, including two against the Rangers, and appeared in a second-round game against the New Jersey Devils last season.

Kochetkov, 24, was 23-13-4 with a .911 save percentage and 2.33 goals-against average in 42 games this season for the Hurricanes.

“He has a different attitude. That’s clear. Freddie is really calm and cool, and Coach is more emotional. He wears his emotions on his sleeve. But they’re both really good goalkeepers,” Brind’Amour said. “At the end of the day, he’s fresh and I hope he has a great game.”

Hurricanes coach also announced that center Evgeny Kuznetsov will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for Game 2.

Game 3 is scheduled for 7pm ET in Raleigh. The Hurricanes were 27-10-4 at home in the regular season, the fifth-best record in the NHL.

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