The Hurricanes have to feel pretty good about themselves lately. Even though they failed to pick up the extra point in overtime against their Metropolitan rival Capitals two days ago, the Canes picked up two points in a game they seemed to control from the get-go, shutting out the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0.
Jeff Skinner got the scoring going 6:50 into the second period by following through on a forecheck against Ian Cole that led to a turnover. After gaining possession, Skinner let a wrister rip to beat Matt Murray glove-side for a 1-0 lead. Before the period was over, Teuvo Teravainen doubled the lead by finishing off a nifty passing play from Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin that could make your head spin. (Maybe there is a new T.S.A. connection we should pay attention to?)
The game then stayed 2-0 until roughly halfway through the third period. Aho was out there doing Aho-things when he took a nifty touch pass from Jordan Staal at center ice and drove hard to the net, opening Murray’s five-hole for a goal that should be on TSN’s top-10 plays tonight.
The kid from Finland wasn’t done yet though as he added another tally just over three minutes later. Teravainen circled from behind the net when he turned and fired a shot on the Pittsburgh net, only for Aho to complete a slick deflection that beat Murray and cement the game firmly in the Canes favor 4-0.
While scoring four goals in a game is usually a recipe for success, you cant win hockey games if your goaltender doesn’t help you. Cam Ward was stellar tonight making 21 saves for his 26th career shutout and first ever against the Penguins. Ward has a 1.80 GAA over his past five games and is 10-0-2 with a 2.33 GAA in his last 12 starts.
Carolina is still holding on to the 8th and final playoff spot, and now has a two-point lead over the New York Islanders who lost tonight to the Flyers. The Canes will look to continue keeping the points coming Saturday against Boston.
Rank the Performances
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.