The Carolina Hurricanes entered the pivotal final game of their homestand coming off of back to back wins against the Vancouver Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Kings entered the game without Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, and Trevor Lewis in a hugely important game for both teams who are on the playoff bubble fighting for a playoff position. The Kings are one point out of a Western Conference wild card position, and the Hurricanes entered the game holding a one point lead in the Eastern Conference wild card race.
Justin Faulk made sure the Canes would stay there, scoring a natural hat trick as the Canes jumped out to a 5-0 lead on the way to a 7-3 win over the Kings to end their homestand 5-2-1 for 11 points. Twelve points was the target and 10 points was a must. With a win tonight and struggles around the Metropolitan Division in the month of February, the Canes have themselves in the thick of the playoff race.
The Canes defense had their best game of the season, producing the first four goals of the game. Jaccob Slavin got on the board just six minutes into the first with a four on four goal, going to his patented shootout backhand after a delay of game penalty on the Kings and a hooking penalty on the Canes.
Faulk then stole the spotlight with a natural hat-trick marking his fifth, sixth, and seventh goals of the season. Faulk also completed a Mardi Gras “Fat Trick” registering a goal for queso, a power play goal for Bojangles, and three total goals for Papa Johns, so Caniacs will eat well tomorrow.
He became is only the tenth defenseman in NHL history to score three straight goals in a game:
Faulk’s second goal chased starting goaltender Jonathan Quick out of the net. Quick gave up four shots in 20 shots for a nice and round .800 sv%. Darcy Kuemper entered and gave up three goals of his own, in contrast to his .934 sv% and a 14-9-1 record.
Defensively speaking the Canes shut down the Kings in the first period, only letting up three shots. However, the tide turned halfway through the second period, and the Kings were able to get 14 shots on goal and score two straight before the period ended.
Perhaps the most noteworthy part about his game will be seeing everyone walking back on their “We have to trade Justin Faulk takes.”
The Canes scored three power play goals off of five chances in the game. In addition to Faulk’s two power play goals, Jeff Skinner made it three straight power play goals with a fake slap shot, snapshot to beat Kuemper far side in the second period. It was the Canes’ first game with three power play goals since 2015.
All three goals came from the point and good puck movement. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen had assists on both of Faulk’s power play markers. Not to be outdone, the second unit saw a similar set up when Victor Rask and Justin Williams set up Skinner at the top for a goal.
The Kings were able to get things moving with a Anze Kopitar power play goal. Los Angeles was able to then rattle off two more straight goals to make the game 5-3. As they always say, the most dangerous lead in hockey is a five goal lead.
The Canes were able to weather the storm and got two late goals with a Skinner backhand snipe, and a Sebastian Aho breakaway goal to make the game 7-3. Aho finished with three points (one goal, two assists), Skinner, Justin Williams, and Victor Rask all ended up with two points.
The Canes now face the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night with both teams on the back end of a back-to-back. However, the teams are headed in different directions with the Canes winning three straight and the Devils on a four game losing streak.
Brown Recalled from Charlotte
Following the game, the Canes recalled Patrick Brown from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL. The release from the team is below.
CANES RECALL BROWN FROM CHARLOTTE
Forward to join team on Wednesday
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled forward Patrick Brown from the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Charlotte Checkers.
Brown, 25, has registered 20 points (6g, 14a) in 44 games with the Checkers this season and ranks fourth on the team in plus/minus (+16). The Bloomfield Hills, MI, native has recorded two points (1g, 1a) in 28 career NHL games with Carolina and skated in a career-high 14 games with the Hurricanes last season. Brown signed with Carolina as a free agent on April 12, 2014, following his four-year collegiate career at Boston College.
Rank the Performances
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