Hurricanes go back to Nedeljkovic for Game 5 vs. Lightning

Gregg Forwerck / National Hockey League / Getty

Alex Nedeljkovic returned to the crease Tuesday night.

The 25-year-old started for the Carolina Hurricanes in their Game 5 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, making 23 saves as Carolina was eliminated from the postseason.

Nedeljkovic started Games 1 and 2 of the series, losing both contests 2-1 before Petr Mrazek took over for the next two. Carolina won Game 3 in overtime but lost Game 4 by a 6-4 margin as Tampa Bay grabbed a 3-1 series lead. Mrazek allowed six goals on 26 shots in Game 4.

The 29-year-old Mrazek has posted a .873 save percentage while surrendering eight goals on 63 shots during this series. Nedeljkovic stopped 41 of the 45 shots he faced in the first two contests for a save percentage of .911.

Nedeljkovic is a finalist for the Calder Trophy - awarded annually to the NHL's top rookie - this season.

The Hurricanes also had a pair of key forwards return from injury in Game 5.

Vincent Trocheck was back in the lineup after he collided with teammate Warren Foegele in Game 2. Nino Niederreiter played for the first time during the second-round matchup. He was a late scratch for Game 1 due to an upper-body ailment. Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind'Amour had said Niederreiter was "very, very doubtful" to play in Round 2.

Meanwhile, Foegele missed Game 5. He was hurt in Game 3 and didn't return, then he played 14:25 in Game 4.

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Hurricanes go back to Nedeljkovic for Game 5 vs. Lightning
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