Elias Lindholm netted his first NHL hat trick, Jeff Skinner had two goals for the first time this season, and Alexander Semin submitted his entry for goal of the year in Carolina’s 7-4 win over Edmonton.
1. Semin was at his best Sunday, scoring a ridiculous from-his-stomach goal that ignited the Hurricanes in the second period with the team trailing by three. He then drew two penalties later in the frame that led to a 5-on-3 goal. Semin has three goals and five assists in his last 13 games — hardly a top-line scorer's pace, but still in the ballpark of 20 goals and 50 points over an 82-game season. It's unrealistic to think Semin will ever live up to his salary in the eyes of many, but if he can contribute on a decent level, earn the trust of the coaching staff and keep his confidence up, the 31-year-old winger will be a positive addition despite what the bankrolls say.
2. Rasmus Rissanen’s second NHL game had its ups and downs, but the rookie defender was sure to continue to use his best asset: his physicality. Rissanen followed up an eight-hit night against the Wild with five more vs. the Oilers. Yes, he made the poor pass that led to the first of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ three goals, but mistakes can be expected with a player getting his first taste of the NHL. If he continues to play his game and not back down to avoid mistakes, that's when progress will be made.
3. Nathan Gerbe didn't take kindly to Jordan Eberle’s third-period high stick, dropping his stick and seemingly challenging the Edmonton forward to drop the gloves. The two are in around the same weight class, though Eberle has a six-inch height advantage on the 5'5 Gerbe — the NHL’s smallest player. Still Eberle shied away from engaging the feisty Gerbe, instead taking a matching roughing minor plus the high-sticking infraction. Carolina converted, scoring what wound up being the game-winning goal, and Eberle went home with another loss and some major questions about his toughness.
Number To Know
2 — Power play goals allowed by the Hurricanes, just the third time this the team has give up more than one goal on the penalty kill. The other two times? Believe it or not, they were in the home-and-home losses to the New York Islanders than opened the season on Oct. 10-11.
Elias Lindholm — Carolina’s youngest player was its best Sunday. Lindholm notched his first career hat trick and had a career-high five points while playing alongside Victor Rask and Eric Staal (who had four assists of his own). It's a nice continuing progression for Lindholm, who has 14 goals and 18 assists (32 points in 63 games) after going 9-12-21 in 58 games as a rookie last year. With Rask now at 22 points in 62 games as a rookie, there's plenty of Swedish optimism to be had.
Cam Ward — Ward earned the win, his 18th of the season, but has now allowed 11 goals in his past three outings — in just 160 minutes — and has given up at least three goals in nine of his past 15 starts. The good news is Carolina is still 8-5-2 in those games.