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Game Analysis: Jets At Hurricanes

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The Carolina Hurricanes held on for a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday at PNC Arena, improving to 26-21-10 and are now just two points out of a playoff spot.

Eddie Lack earned his 10th win of the season Tuesday in Carolina’s 2-1 victory over Winnipeg.
Eddie Lack earned his 10th win of the season Tuesday in Carolina’s 2-1 victory over Winnipeg.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Riley Nash and Jordan Staal scored power play goals to lead Carolina to a 2-1 win Tuesday over Winnipeg at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes have earned 14 points in their last 10 games (6-2-2) and have 62 points on the season.

Three Observations

1. Carolina’s penalty kill continues to get the job done, and it has moved into a tie for 11th with Buffalo at 81.6 percent after shutting down the Jets Tuesday. There have been some changes of late: the team has been without Justin Faulk, leading to some shuffling throughout the lineup, but the newest wrinkle on the PK is Elias Lindholm sliding in next to Jay McClement on the second unit. Lindholm has been on the ice for just two power play goals against in 26:45 PK time. A comparable is Nathan Gerbe, one of the players he's replaced in that role: Gerbe was on the ice for four PK goals in nearly the same amount of time (26:59). Jaccob Slavin has also been a significant contributor, being on the ice for just three against in 58:24.

2. The Hurricanes could put away the Senators with a win Thursday in Ottawa. Carolina has a game in hand on the Sens and holds a four-point edge in the standings. While the Canes are still in chase mode, a regulation win in over Ottawa would inflict double damage on the Wild Card race by keeping Carolina on pace with the teams in front of them while creating breathing room with a team behind them.

3. Eddie Lack won just one of his first seven decisions with the Hurricanes, so the fact that he is back to .500 (10-10-3) is a testament to how well he has played since his slow start. It has undoubtedly been a team effort — Lack’s surge has coincided with better numbers from Cam Ward and the entire team — but it gives Carolina hope that they can rely on Lack going forward with or without Ward after this season.

Number To Know

0 — Faceoffs lost by Victor Rask vs. the Jets. Rask won all seven draws he took, and as a team Carolina claimed 69 percent (35 of 51) of the faceoffs. The Hurricanes are tied with Arizona for the best team winning percentage in the league (53.9 percent). The Jets rank third from the bottom (47.9).

Plus

Riley Nash — Nash had his second two-point game since Jan. 26, notching a goal and an assist in 9:47 of ice time. The 26-year-old forward, who has been playing wing on the fourth line instead of his natural center position, has points in four of his last six games (four goals, two assists) despite playing just a combined 57:22 (9:34 average).

Minus

Kris Versteeg — It was another quiet night for the top line — though Phil Di Giuseppe has twice as many hits (six) as anyone in the game. Eric Staal’s point drought continued, but he did win two-thirds of his faceoffs. So we'll look to Versteeg, who took one of Carolina’s three minor penalties in the first period and was held off the scoresheet in 16:43, including nearly four minutes of power play time. The good news for Versteeg — and Carolina — is this was one of those games where it was hard to find fault anywhere in the lineup.