For the third time in the season’s first four games, the Carolina Hurricanes were able to obtain a three goal lead. And for the first time, the Hurricanes were able to emerge victorious as they defeated the Calgary Flames 4-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday night.
The Hurricanes were able to get an early goal from Teuvo Teravainen to jump out in front. Off an a center net drive and dish from defenseman Noah Hanifin (an aggressive play that further exhibits the growth Hanifin has shown early this season) Teravainen was able to take two whacks at the puck on the left door step and eventually slip the puck past Brian Elliott to make the score 1-0. Later in the first period, following almost six consecutive minutes on the penalty kill, which featured fantastic play from Brett Pesce and Jay McClement, the Canes were granted a powerplay of their own. Victor Rask made no mistake with the puck as he buried a wrister past Elliott to end the scoring in the first period at 2-0.
In the second period, the Hurricanes continued to be a step ahead of the Flames and following sustained pressure from the Staal-Nordstrom-Di Giuseppe line, Klas Dahlbeck fired a stretch pass which sprung Viktor Stalberg in on Elliott and he was able to finish for his first goal as a Hurricane to make it 3-0 Carolina. Late in the second, the Flames finally answered back as Troy Brouwer intercepted a Justin Faulk pass in the neutral zone and fired the first puck past Eddie Lack on the night to make the score 3-1 heading to the third period.
In the third, the Flames showed more jump than at any previous point in the game, and with just under twelve minutes remaining Johnny Gaudreau burned past Faulk on left wing and cut in front of the goal mouth to slide the puck in past Lack to make the score 3-2. At this point, you can imagine the thoughts of “oh, here we go again” may have been flying around the Canes bench. If that was the case, they were finally able to stare it in the face and turn back those thoughts, as they kept control of the game in the remaining minutes, and after Jeff Skinner was able to draw a penalty with just over two minutes remaining (followed by another high-sticking call around a minute and a half later), Skinner was able to convert on the power play and notch the final tally of the night, making the score 4-2 Hurricanes.
- Phil Di Giuseppe slotted in for Andrej Nestrasil on the line with Jordan Staal and Joakim Nordstrom. Di Giuseppe, and his linemates, all had their best game of the early season as they buzzed the offensive zone much of the night and owned possession of the puck.
- Eddie Lack may have cemented himself as the top netminder in the interim as he turned in a second quality performance stopping 24 of the 26 shots he saw on the night.
- As was discussed in the preview, the penalty kill for the Hurricanes was a huge factor, as they thwarted the anemic Calgary powerplay as they went 0 for 6 on the man advantage. The Flames are now 1 for 22 on the powerplay this season.
- Sebastian Aho continued to struggle a bit with offensive touch and in handling possession of the puck in some of the tougher spots on the ice. Not alarming as of yet, but I am sure the club will be hoping to see rapid improvement given the opportunities (powerplay time, etc.) that he has been given in the early going.
- Noah Hanifin notched his first career 3-point game as he notched three assists.
Back in the U.S.A.
The Hurricanes will make their United States regular season debut as they pay their first visit to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.
Rank the Performances
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.