Well, are you not entertained??? Let the roller coaster commence, as the Hurricanes, after jumping out to a 4-1 lead early in the 3rd period, were pushed to overtime and ultimately fell 5-4 in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night in Winnipeg. Not only did the season commence on Thursday, but the Hurricanes extended their streak of 6 consecutive season openers in which they fell in defeat.
After an inauspicious start, highlighted by a goal for the Jets Shawn Matthias, and surviving 1:49 of 5-on-3 for the Jets (which featured 3 different shots ringing off the post for the Jets), the Hurricanes were able to even the ledger with a tally from Jeff Skinner 11 minutes into the game. Despite 3 penalties in the 1st period the Hurricanes managed to out-shoot the Jets 10-6 in the 1st period.
Once the 2nd period began, the Hurricanes began to assert themselves, which led to Lee Stempniak scoring his 1st goal as a Hurricane on the powerplay (the 1st of 2 powerplay goals for the Hurricanes on this night). With only 31 seconds remaining in the 2nd period, Jordan Staal snapped home a wrister from the slot to make the score 3-1 as the game headed into the 3rd period.
In the 3rd period, the Hurricanes continued to push the action, as they created numerous chances, and finally capitalized on the 2nd powerplay goal of the night on a snap shot from Victor Rask. At that point, with only 14:58 remaining, the Hurricanes held a 4-1 lead. They were also gifted an additional powerplay for following the goal, but this would prove to be the high water mark of the night.
Almost immediately (9 seconds to be exact) into the powerplay, a poor turnover on the defensive end resulting from a pass from Jeff Skinner catching Noah Hanifin flat-footed in the neutral zone, ended in Blake Wheeler netting the 2nd Jets goal of the night. From there, it was all Jets, and the momentum they created led to 2 additional tallies in the 3rd period, one the first career goal for highly touted rookie Patrik Laine, and the game tying mark from Matthieu Perreault with 1:29 left to play.
In overtime, the Jets continued to carry the play, and finally, 2:41 into overtime, Mark Scheifele notched the game winner, sending the Canes on their way to Vancouver, 1 point lighter in their luggage than they had envisioned.
- Lee Stempniak added 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist) in his Hurricanes debut.
- Sebastian Aho had his first career NHL point with an assist on the Victor Rask powerplay goal in the 3rd period.
- The Hurricanes committed 5 penalties, one of which resulted in a powerplay goal from the Jets.
- Patrik Laine notted 2 points for the Jets in his NHL debut.
- Cam Ward stopped 21 of the 26 shots he faced.
- The Staal, Andrej Nestrasil, and Joakim Nordstrom line had some issues tonight, as they combined for a collective minus-5 on the night.
Off to Western Canada
For the Hurricanes, this is an acceptable start to the season, though it is no doubt a huge disappointment as 2 points appeared firmly in their grasp early in the 3rd period. The Hurricanes continue their 6-game opening road trip in Vancouver against the Canucks on Sunday night.
Rank The Performances
Weigh in on who you think played well tonight, and, ugh, who didn't, in our Ranker poll.