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Game Analysis: Hurricanes At Jets

Cam Ward returned to the Carolina net and the Hurricanes got back to their winning ways, topping the Jets in Winnipeg, 5-3.

Jordan Staal and Andrej Nestrasil combined for three goals and five points to lead Carolina to a 5-3 win in Winnipeg.
Jordan Staal and Andrej Nestrasil combined for three goals and five points to lead Carolina to a 5-3 win in Winnipeg.
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Andrej Nestrasil had two goals, linemate Jordan Staal had three points, and Carolina held off a Winnipeg rally to win 5-3.

Three Observations

1. Carolina’s four-goal outburst in the game’s first 10 minutes stunned the Jets and the Winnipeg crowd, but it also seemed to lull the Hurricanes into a false sense of security. Coach Bill Peters has touched on the Canes' inability to close teams out, especially when they jump out to an early lead, and Friday was another example.

2. Cam Ward was back in net and looked fully recovered from the concussion that sidelined him since he went on injured reserve Jan. 20. He stopped 33 of 36 shots in improving to 15-11-5 on the season. Such is the seesaw nature of Carolina’s goaltending situation this season. While Ward was hurt, Eddie Lack performed well. But Lack was average at best in Calgary Thursday, re-opening the door for Ward, who should be back in net Sunday Montreal afternoon after his solid performance in Winnipeg.

3. Carolina lost the faceoff battle — a rarity this year — by winning just 24 of 54 draws against the Jets. Jordan Staal, the NHL’s No. 2 faceoff man, won just six of 18 faceoffs, while everyone else hovered around 50 percent. The Canes struggled the most in the third period, winning just eight of 21 draws, and were dominated all night by Mark Scheifele (7 of 8).

Number To Know

15 — Points in the last 13 games for Jordan Staal, who had three points (a goal and two assists) to lead the Hurricanes. Staal has only had more than two points one other time in his Hurricanes career, when he registered four points (one goal, three assists) on Jan. 9, 2014, at Toronto. Staal’s goal Friday came on the power play, giving him seven this season and putting him on pace to challenge the career-high 10 man-advantage goals he had in 2013-14.


Andrej Nestrasil — One-third of Carolina’s most consistent line, Nestrasil notched his first career two-goal game by scoring the Hurricanes’ second and fifth goal in his 100th career game. He nearly had another prior to his second, dancing through the Winnipeg defense in jaw-dropping fashion, and he led both teams with six shots on goal (matching his career best). He now has points in six of his past nine games.


Jay McClement — McClement had a rough third period, taking a tripping penalty early in the frame and later losing a faceoff to Bryan Little that led to Dustin Byfuglien's goal that drew the Jets within one. Still, it was hard to find fault with any individual Canes after they built a four-goal lead in just more than 10 minutes and had to find the motivation to play out the balance of the game.