The Carolina Hurricanes ended their preseason slate on a high note on Friday night as they defeated the visiting Washington Capitals by a final score of 3-2.
We saw a dress rehearsal of sorts for the ‘Canes as they iced an opening night-worthy roster against the ‘Caps.
Carolina started the scoring early in period two thanks to a deflection in front of the net by Lee Stempniak. Jordan Staal supplied the saucer pass out front.
Noah Hanifin, who picked up an assist on Carolina’s first goal, roofed a laser on Braden Holtby to cushion the home team’s lead.
A slow third period ensued for the Hurricanes, and the Capitals took advantage. John Carlson and Zachary Sanford both found the back of the net within 2:30 of each other, ultimately forcing the game to overtime.
An eventful overtime failed to render a goal for either club, but that changed quickly as the Hurricanes and Capitals exchanged goals in each of the first two rounds of the shootout. Jaccob Slavin used his patented backhander to win it for Carolina in round four.
- Linds and Finns came to play on Friday night. Through the opening 40 minutes, Teuvo Teravainen, Elias Lindholm and Sebastian Aho formed Carolina’s most dangerous offensive line, buzzing around the offensive zone and hitting multiple goal posts.
- Noah Hanifin stood out as Carolina’s best player. He netted a pair of points and was a force in his own end as he got in front of shots and disrupted plays with his stick. His only noticeable flaw against the Capitals was a bad defensive zone turnover which led to Washington’s second goal of the hockey game seconds later.
- Cam Ward got the start and went the distance in the preseason finale, stopping 22 of the 24 shots he saw. The goals he did allow were off of a wide-open one-timer and a defensive turnover. Carolina’s goaltending has been largely impressive in preseason. We’ll see how it translates next week.
- This was a big game for Roland McKeown, who is one of the several defensemen vying for Ryan Murphy’s spot on the blueline to start the season. McKeown was largely unnoticeable, but that is a good thing. He didn’t make big mistakes, but he was on the ice for Washington’s first goal, a powerplay goal in the third period.
- Phil Di Giuseppe dropped the gloves with Matt Niskanen on Friday night. After the game, Di Giuseppe said that was his first fight, including both college and pros.
- Justin Faulk left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and did not return. Bill Peters said after the game that his injury is not serious and that taking him out was a precautionary move. He described the injury as “general soreness”.
The Regular Season is Upon Us
The Carolina Hurricanes will likely make their final cuts within the next couple of days to get their roster down to 23 players.
Opening night is Thursday, October 13 in Winnipeg.