RALEIGH — Andrei Svechnikov made sure his first career goal was one that will be long remembered at PNC Arena.
In a wild game that the Hurricanes trailed four separate times, Svechnikov’s goal midway through the third period proved to be the game-winner, as the Hurricanes stormed back for a 8-5 win in front of a raucous and spirited PNC Arena crowd on Sunday afternoon.
Petr Mrazek, who had looked so good in admittedly limited action against the Islanders on Thursday, was anything but to start Sunday’s game. He was victimized by Jimmy Vesey less than a minute in, and a defensive breakdown by Martin Necas and Trevor van Riemsdyk allowed Chris Kreider to double the Rangers’ lead five minutes later, as the visitors scored twice on their first two shots.
But unlike in years past, the Hurricanes fought back. Warren Foegele scored a dirty goal, stuffing the puck between Alexandar Georgiev’s right pad and the post off a feed from Justin Williams, and then Jordan Martinook tied it with 5:46 to go in the period, taking a pass from Williams who found the former Coyote streaking down the slot and sidestepping a Rangers defenseman on the way to the net.
Twice more the Rangers would take a lead, through Vesey again and then Pavel Buchnevich on a power play, but twice more the Hurricanes responded. Jordan Staal was set up on a breakaway by Foegele and converted over Georgiev’s stick, and with just 30 seconds remaining in the second period Micheal Ferland took advantage of a turnover and uncorked a laser from the top of the near circle that put the Canes back on even terms after two.
For the fourth time, though, the Rangers took the lead. Kreider’s second of the night, scored by sliding the puck through Mrazek’s pads after he turned the jets on to skate away from Dougie Hamilton, put the Rangers up 5-4. And for the fourth time, the Canes came back, this time less than a minute later. Svechnikov’s shot missed the mark, but the puck bounced out into the slot and Lucas Wallmark wired it up over Georgiev’s glove.
And two shifts later, Svechnikov made his first career goal one to remember.
Calvin de Haan’s shot went just wide and was collected behind the net by Justin Faulk. Faulk skated to the far boards and turned around to fire, hoping for a tip. Svechnikov did just that, scoring the game-winner deflecting the puck up top and sending PNC Arena into pandemonium. Forty-seven seconds later, Foegele, not to be outdone by his fellow rookie, scored an insurance goal off a behind-the-net feed from Justin Williams.
Teuvo Teravainen finished off the proceedings with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left, giving the Hurricanes a win that will resonate into Tuesday’s visit of the Vancouver Canucks.
They Said It
It’s a fun game to be a part of when you win it. There were a lot of things going, I think both coaches said “wow, we gave up way too much” but the fans sure enjoyed it. Even when we got down two, thankfully it was early, but there was no panic. I think that’s a real positive, especially with the young guys. Maybe they don’t know any better, but I like that they just kept digging in. We got some breaks, but I think we worked for them.
They believe in each other already, you can feel it. There’s a ton of work to do. We’re making mistakes that we shouldn’t be making. There’s a quiet confidence going on that no matter what happens, we can come back. That’s a good feeling.
We knew we were going to push the pace, and try to create offense - not at the expense of playing defense, because we haven’t mastered that yet, we’re definitely giving up some quality opportunities - but it’s a fun way to play. It’s hard. It’s going to take a lot of mental toughness. So far they’ve answered the bell.
You can say it how you want, but we do owe the people who watch the game to try to make it exciting. Every coach is trying to do similar stuff. There’s a fine line between what we’re doing and what everybody else is doing, but you do want people to enjoy the game. That game was probably a little too much (laughs) but you want it to be fun.
I’m super happy and excited. That’s my dream, to score my first goal in the NHL, and it was some great emotion.
It doesn't matter who’s scoring, you just want to score. I’m super happy and I just want to just keep going. I waited for this my whole life. It’s my dream, and my dream came true.
That game was tough for the goalies, but it’s fun. 8-5? It’s fun when you score more goals than the other team.
We just decided to stay with it. We made a couple of mistakes, but we kept playing fast and aggressive and the goals just started to come. Roddy’s been preaching, especially to the young guys, if you make a mistake just try to rebound the next shift and don’t make that mistake again.
We’re having a lot of fun. Eight goals? Pretty entertaining game. There’s a belief in the dressing room and a belief on the bench that we’re down a goal but stuck with each other and played hard and fast. There’s a lot of adversity there tonight, but if we kept trucking away and playing hard good things will happen.
It’s easy to like everybody in this room. I feel like I’m a guy who can keep it light and come to the rink with a smile on my face. It’s the NHL. You love to be here, and I’m trying to bring some positive energy to the room.
The celebration was planned. We had a win celebration sort of deal. I don’t know if we’re going to do that one all year, but we’ll keep the fans on their toes to see what we’re going to do next.
You look at every line on our team, every line can score goals and chip in and play defense. I haven’t felt a sense of panic once on the bench. Nobody has held their head at any point. You get scored on, and go out and get it back. I’ve never been on a team that has that quiet confidence about them. It’s been fun to be a part of. Even though when we get scored on and down a goal, everyone’s clear headed and goes on the next shift and gets back to it. It’s fun coming to the rink right now.
- Some games you have to search for things to put here. Not so tonight.
- Svechnikov is the first player born in the 2000s to score an NHL goal. (Sorry, Jesperi Kotkaniemi.) Even he didn’t realize the historical nature of his goal until a reporter mentioned it to him after the game.
- More on Svechnikov: at 18 years, 195 days old, he’s the third-youngest player in Canes/Whalers history to score a goal, behind Jeff Skinner for the 2010 Hurricanes (18y, 157d) and (trivia alert!) Paul Lawless for the 1982 Whalers (18y, 181d).
- Necas’ secondary assist on the Foegele goal that opened the scoring for the Hurricanes was his first NHL point, although that’s sure to be lost amid the hoopla surrounding his teammate’s game-winner.
- It was the first time the Hurricanes have ever overcome four separate deficits to win a game in their franchise history (including Hartford). In fact, it only happened once last season anywhere in the league, and that one took overtime: a 5-4 Penguins win over the Blue Jackets on April 5.
- In five career games, Foegele has four goals, the first time in franchise history a player has scored that many in his first five games.
- The last time the Canes scored eight goals, appropriately, was against the Islanders in March of 2017. It was December of 2016, that wild 8-6 win over Vancouver, when the Canes last put up a snowman at PNC Arena.
- And last but not least, Calvin de Haan earned his first point as a Hurricane with the secondary assist on Svechnikov’s goal. I doubt he’ll mind that one flying under the radar.
- Speaking of the Canucks, they visit Tuesday night for their only trip to Raleigh of the year. The Canes will practice tomorrow morning at 11.