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Burns to Conference Finals, Meier Trade Pick Will Be No. 25 or 26 for Sharks

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Credit: Sportsnet

Brent Burns got one over Timo Meier.

Of course, the Carolina Hurricanes’ second-round series victory over the New Jersey Devils was more than a showdown of ex-San Jose Sharks stars, but both played critical roles in the Canes’ 3-2 OT triumph in Game Five last night.

Carolina is now headed to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Meier had been heating up – he had two goals and two assists in his last three contests, after getting shut out in his first eight playoff games – including a goal that gave the Devils a 2-1 lead in the second period last night.

But late in the middle frame…

Burns responded by tying the game with seconds to go in the second:

Then in the first OT, Jesper Fast, who like Meier missed an open net earlier in the game, deflected home the game-winner.

In the handshake line, Burns and Meier, who played together on the San Jose Sharks from 2016 to 2022, took an extra moment together.

It was a warmer exchange than this second period battle!

For San Jose fans, this result wasn’t just about seeing two ex-Sharks luminaries face off.

In February, San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier acquired New Jersey’s 2023 first-round pick for Meier. That selection will be No. 25 if the Edmonton Oilers beat the Vegas Golden Knights in their currently tied series, No. 26 if the Golden Knights advance.

In the same trade, the Devils also sent a conditional 2024 second-round pick. That pick would’ve upgraded to a 2024 first if this New Jersey squad had made it to the Conference Finals and Meier had played in 50 percent of their playoff games.

Wait ‘til next year?

If the Devils make the Conference Finals next year, that conditional 2024 second-round pick can still upgrade to a 2024 first, irrespective of how many post-season contests that Meier appears in.

Carolina will take on the victor of the Florida Panthers-Toronto Maple Leafs series in the Eastern Conference Finals. Florida is up 3-1 on Toronto.

The 38-year-old Burns, who starred for the San Jose Sharks from 2011 to 2022, is seeking his first Stanley Cup. The 2017 Norris Trophy winner and three-time Norris finalist, all with the Sharks, previously led San Jose to the Final in 2016 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Friedman Says Burns an Early Conn Smythe Frontrunner

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