The Carolina Hurricanes got the job done on Friday night with the San Jose Sharks in town, picking up a hugely impressive 4-3 win in shootout.
It was a game of inches early on. The combination of Warren Foegele and Justin Williams very nearly produced a goal in their first few shifts. Then, just about six minutes into the opening frame, Andrei Svechnikov centered the puck and set up a big chance for Jordan Martinook, but the former Coyote missed the shot and then missed the rebound off the end boards.
And, as it always seems to happen, the puck instantly went the other way, and the Sharks got on the board first.
It was Antii Suomela who drove the puck to the net, got around Petr Mrazek, and scored a Bobby Orr-esque goal while falling over Mrazek’s outstretched pad. Oh, and it was his first NHL goal.
Less than 30 seconds later, a Teuvo Teravainen hooking penalty put the Hurricanes down a man. The Sharks didn’t waste their opportunity. About 75 seconds into their power play, Timo Meier found himself all by his lonesome in front of the Carolina net and tallied his sixth goal of the year to continue his hot start.
Shortly thereafter, the Hurricanes got a power play of their own, but it was far from successful. They couldn’t get much of anything going, and the best over those two minutes came from San Jose on a 2-on-1 rush the other way. Mrazek had to make a big save to keep it at 2-0.
A late surge from the Aho line nearly got Carolina on the board, but Aaron Dell made a few good saves in the waining seconds of period one.
The first 20 minutes definitely weren’t pretty for the home team...
Not... the best first period for the Hurricanes. They're lucky it's only 2-0. pic.twitter.com/G5cpSQEUvm— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) October 27, 2018
Whatever Rod Brind’Amour told his team during the first intermission certainly made an impact early in period two.
A great offensive shift from the trio of Sebastian Aho, Micheal Ferland and Teuvo Teravainen led to Carolina’s first goal of the evening, and it came off the stick of Dougie Hamilton. The former Flame got his first goal as a Hurricane, and the primary assist went to his Calgary-turned-Carolina teammate Ferland.
The building suddenly had a pulse, and it looked like the Hurricanes were about to make a push, and they did.
Until Lucas Wallmark got whistled for slashing.
And, on cue, Tomas Hertl netted the Sharks’ second power play goal of the night to extend their lead to 3-1. San Jose continued to dictate play until a bad turnover gifted the Hurricanes their second goal of the night. Brock McGinn was able to fire a loose puck by Aaron Dell and this seesaw game had another change in momentum.
This time, the Canes were able to keep it rolling. Another Sharks turnover led to a cold-blooded snipe from Teuvo Teravainen, who had Erik Karlsson right in his grill, to tied the game at three goals apiece. Sebastian Aho got the assist, which extended his point streak to ten games to start the season - just one game short of Ron Francis’ franchise-record point streak to start a season.
Through two periods, the Canes and Sharks were tied at three. The 5-on-5 corsi chart certainly told an accurate story of the first two periods went in Raleigh.
JESUS WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!?! pic.twitter.com/X1pK3ocQq9— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) October 27, 2018
The third period definitely felt a lot more calm than the second. At times, it felt like two teams who were fully aware that they played in different conferences and would really benefit from getting the guaranteed one point in the standings.
As the period wore on, though, things started to loosen up and both teams were getting there chances. While both teams had their own offensive rushes, it was Carolina that was getting the sustained offensive zone shifts. Despite getting a number of quality opportunities, the third period came to a close with no victor.
To 3-on-3 overtime they went.
Then, after five minutes of exciting 3-on-3 ice hockey at PNC Arena, they needed a shootout.
The first inning ended with no score, but then Brock McGinn got the Canes on the board in the top of the second. Pavelski responded with a shot off of the post. Aho then shot one off the post himself, and Mrazek forced Joonas Donskoi’s shot wide to secure the win for Carolina.
The win for the Hurricanes is a big one. They hosted one of the best teams (and blue lines) in hockey and were able to really take over the final two periods. Their first period was far from what they wanted, but the finish was undeniably impressive.
They are now 6-3-1 through ten games in the 2018-19 season and have reclaimed first place in the Metropolitan Division. At least for the time being.
They Said It
I felt like I was just trying to hold on to the puck and make as many plays as I could. I think the first eight or so games, I was kinda putting a lot of pressure on myself and just trying to get points. Getting that first one is a big relief and it was a big wain for the boys.
I think we did a good of getting behind their defensemen. A lot of their defensemen play very high minutes, so if we can be taxing on them and wear them out, it definitely helps us out at the end of the game. In the third period there, I think we did a good job of hemming them in and we were creating a lot of chances because of it.
[On how the Hurricanes responded after a slow first period] We just regrouped. We knew that wasn’t out best period (in the first period) and we just wanted to go out and play the way we know we could. I think in the second and third period, we showed the way we can really play.
I think we just realized after the first period, that’s not the way we play. You could tell in the second and third, we started to get our game back. It’s a great win for us.
[On the new celebration after the win] Yeah, we thought we’d just switch it up and trick the fans. It was a lot of fun kayaking.
[ On Brock McGinn] He’s been good all year. He’s just been snakebitten a little bit. He just keeps plugging away and he got rewarded. We know we like him in shootout, so he was on the list before the game. It was nice to see him get it (the game-deciding shootout goal).
[On the resiliency of the team] Well we’re not going to quit. I know that already about this group. No matter what happens. Early on, we didn’t get to our game and San Jose did. Really, at the end of the first period, we started to get it going a little bit. I give these guys full marks, they bounced back.
[On if the team’s level of confidence in Petr Mrazek is growing] I don’t think it’s growing. I think we’ve always had it. I’ve said it from day one; we have good goalies. It’s comforting to be in a situation where you know that, if we give up a chance, that the goalie is going to save it. In the first period, we gave up a breakaway shorthanded and he made a huge save. That game is probably over if they score there. That’s what you have to get out of your goalies - timely saves when you need them.
[On contributions from the top of the lineup to bottom of the lineup] If we’re going to be successful, we’re going to need everybody to contribute. I think, to a man, that’s what we saw tonight. You could list 18 guys or 20 guys that did something tonight. That’s the only way we’re going to have a chance (if everyone contributes).
Peter DeBoer (San Jose Sharks head coach)
Well, what a tale of two games. I walked out after the first period and I thought we could be up 4-0. Then, we never won another race, battle or shift for the rest of the night. I guess the lesson in that is that the NHL still plays 60-minute games, not 20-minute games. Our goalie (Aaron Dell) got us a point, thankfully.
We came out and we played a really good first period. We were ready and we executed. We stuck to our game plan, outshot them, out-chanced them - I thought by a good bit. And then we just stopped playing. I don’t know if we thought that they were just going to roll over for the rest of the night, but you can see the pressure that they (the Hurricanes) can put on you. When you have the momentum, and then you stop playing, you’ve lost that momentum. I thought we had a couple of chances to get it back and get a power play goal, but we didn’t.
- Dougie Hamilton scored his first goal as a Hurricane on Friday. He also extended his NHL-best shots on goal streak to 175 games. He also flossed:
This is why we had to get this guy pic.twitter.com/H9WvJ7I0kE— Tom Dundon (@TDCanes) October 27, 2018
- Brock McGinn recorded his first point of the season with his second period game-tying goal. His tally in the shootout is also what put the Hurricanes over the hump and proved to be the game-deciding goal.
- Carolina did very well in the faceoff dot. Jordan Staal put on a clinic, winning 17 of the 22 faceoffs that he took. Sebastian Aho entered the day winning just 46.9% of his faceoffs, but he was able to win 14 of the 22 that he took, which is good for a 64% success rate.
- After initially getting snubbed, Teravainen was later given a secondary assist on Hamilton’s second-period goal. Teravainen had a 2-point night.