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Hurricanes 5, Jets 3

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Canes have huge first period and hold on for win

Andrej Nestrasil scores against Winnipeg
Andrej Nestrasil scores against Winnipeg
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes took a 4-0 lead just 10 minutes into the opening period, but had to sweat out a close game at the end as they defeated the Winnipeg Jets, 5-3 on Friday night.

Phillip Di Giuseppe scored just 1:43 into the game and Andrej Nestrasil knocked home a rebound at 3:05 into the contest  to make it 2-0.  Jordan Staal clanged in a shot off the pipes to make it 3-0 just a minute and change later, chasing starting netminder Connor Hellebuyck, and it seemed like the Canes might skate the Jets right out of their own rink.

With goaltender Michael Hutchinson in relief, Justin Faulk also put back a rebound to make it 4-0, just 10:05 into the game and Cam Ward had barely looked at a shot yet.  But somehow you knew this would not be an easy night for Carolina.

In the second period, the Jets ramped up the pressure and finally got a puck past Ward with just 1:25 left in the period.

The third period was almost all Winnipeg as they bombarded Ward with one shot after another.  Finally, Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien both scored to make it 4-3 and it looked like the visitors might be in trouble.

But Nestrasil broke into the clear and made a nice move to beat Hutchinson.  Nestrasil celebrated his 100th NHL career game with those two goals.

The home team outshot the Canes 19-6 in that final period and 36-29 for the game.

Jordan Staal had a three point night while Nordstrom and Nestrasil had two points each.

Cam Ward had a busy first night back from injury and made 33 saves on 36 shots for the win.

Next up for Carolina is a visit with the Canadiens on Super Bowl Sunday.

Game Notes:

  • Nestrasil led the team with six shots on goal.
  • The team had 16 blocked shots led by Jaccob Slavin with four.
  • Event Summary