The Carolina Hurricanes opened up the preseason Monday night with a 2-1 overtime win against the Washington Capitals.
Starting for the Canes were Sergey Tolchinsky - Jordan Staal- Joakim Nordstrom up front with Justin Faulk and Jaccob Slavin starting on defense. Getting the nod in goal was Eddie Lack who gave way to Alex Nedeljkovic after two periods.
The Hurricanes came out quick and energetic and set the pace of play early. This led to two early penalties by the Caps. The Canes’ power play efforts were unsuccessful, but looked good with constant cycling and good passing.
The Carolina Hurricanes were able to break through and get one past Vitek Vanecek with 18 seconds left in the first. Slavin was able to turn the puck over to set up Patrick Brown for the lone goal of the first period.
A late penalty by former Hurricane Brad Malone gave the Canes a power play to start the second period. The Canes were ultimately unsuccessful and both teams were held scoreless though out a penalty filled second period.
Eddie Lack Posts a Shutout Through two Periods
Eddie Lack played a total of 40:00 and let in no goals on 16 total shots. Over this time he made a set of crucial saves including a two-on-one and a couple of mini breakaways by forward Tom Wilson. Lack was able to weather the storm and stay perfect despite four separate power play attempts.
He didn’t do it by himself. Defenseman Justin Faulk was a huge reason that Lack was able to leave the ice without surrendering a goal. Faulk played tough defense and was able to help break up multiple scoring chances while covering the back post.
The most impressive came in the second period when he played a two on one perfectly by taking away the pass and letting Lack focus on the shot.
Special Teams got a workout
Both teams came out and played undisciplined hockey with the teams combining for 12 penalties. The penalties are a combination of nervous and excited play and tight reffing.
When speaking on the penalties Caps acting coach Todd Reirden said, “Early in the season you see a lot more stick infraction penalties called, and this was reflected tonight.”
The Hurricanes played with fire, racking up multiple penalties in both the second and third periods. The penalty kill unit was successful through the first five penalties but were unable to kill the sixth penalty.
The one that did them in was a Valentin Zykov interference call in the offensive zone. On the ensuing power play, the Capitals were able to beat Alex Nedeljkovic with a one-timer to tie up the game.
The Carolina Hurricanes also took advantage of their sixth power play, which came in overtime when Jaccob Slavin drew a hooking call from Chandler Stephenson. Justin Faulk was able to score on a slap shot from the point with less than a minute remaining to secure the win.
Hurricanes Look Forward to a Home and Home with Tampa Bay
The next step for the Hurricanes will be a pair of games with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The teams face off tomorrow at 7:30 in Tampa. The Canes open up at PNC with the return match on September 30.
As the preseason continues, the roster will be comprised more of NHL regulars and the players that are realistically competing for NHL positions. Play will be much more confident as young players become more comfortable with the speed of the game.