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About Last Night: Working Overtime; Martinook activated from IR

The Hurricanes topped the Buffalo Sabres on the road Thursday night, thanks to an overtime winner from Dougie Hamilton.

NHL: NOV 14 Hurricanes at Sabres Photo by John Crouch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes look like they may be starting another streak, this time in the right direction, after a 5-4 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night. The Canes have bounced back from a four-game losing streak with two straight wins, with defenseman Dougie Hamilton delivering the game winner in overtime against Buffalo.

With the win Thursday, the Hurricanes have now beaten the Sabres in 10 straight games, the longest winning streak against a single opponent in franchise history.

The Canes are good in overtime

The Hurricanes have been really good this year when a game goes more than 60 minutes. With the overtime win over the Sabres Thursday night, the Canes moved to 4-1 on the season in games that were played past regulation.

Three of those wins for Carolina came in the 3-on-3 overtime period, while the season opener went all the way to a shootout. The Canes played by far the better overtime in Buffalo, and they were rewarded by game-winning goal from Hamilton.

Hamilton is having a great scoring year so far; he’s tied for the team lead with nine goals. However, Thursday wasn’t the first time that it was a defenseman that delivered the game winner in OT for the Canes. Jake Gardiner and Jaccob Slavin, both also blue liners, have the other two overtime winners for Carolina this year.

There may not be a team in hockey with better D-man scoring than the Canes, and that’s something that pays off in overtime where that one defenseman on the ice needs to be able to get up in the attack. Hamilton played the hero against Buffalo, but it seems that Carolina has found a recipe for success in overtime.

While the scoring is great, it also helps when your defensemen can do this in OT when the game is on the line.

Sebastian Aho is scoring

After a very slow start to the season that didn’t feature a goal with a goaltender in net until game 10, Sebastian Aho seems to have really found that scoring touch. The Canes All-Star forward netted a power-play goal in the first period against Buffalo, which at that point was his team-leading ninth goal of the season (Hamilton would tie things back up for that lead in overtime).

Aho has been susceptible to slow starts so far in his career, but this year he really went on a drought to open things up. Aho didn’t score his first goal of the season until the Canes sixth game, and that one came on an empty netter. A few games later he scored another empty netter, bringing him to just two goals through the teams first nine games.

However, that ship has most definitely been righted, as Aho has hit a goal surge. With his tally against Buffalo, paired with a two-goal effort against Ottawa earlier in the week, Aho has four goals in the Canes last four games. To add on to that, Aho easily could have had two goals against Buffalo, if not for a slight tip from Teuvo Teravainen to take a goal from his teammate.

It seemed like not that long ago the talk was that he needed to get more involved, and that he has. In fact, Aho is now well on pace to set a career high in goals. With nine goals through 19 games, Aho is on pace for 39 this season, well above his career mark of 30 set last year.

Extra Special Teams

A big part of Carolina’s win over Buffalo Thursday was the play of the Canes’ special teams units. The Hurricanes netted two power-play goals on three tries, while Buffalo was unsuccessful on all three man advantages they had.

To go along with Aho’s first-period power-play goal, Andrei Svechnikov gave the Canes a 4-3 lead late in the third period with a power-play snipe.

Good special teams play is obviously a big part of being successful, and that shows over the Canes’ last six games. During the Hurricanes’ four-game losing skid, they were just 2 for 13 on the power play while allowing a power-play goal in three of those four games.

Move ahead to the Canes’ last two, both wins, and things are going much better. Carolina is 3 for 6 on the power play in those two games, and the Canes have killed all six penalties given up.

Super Staal Brothers

The Canes captain reached a big milestone with the team Thursday, as Jordan Staal’s first period goal marked his 100th as a member of the Hurricanes.

With his 100th goal with the Hurricanes, Jordan Staal and Eric Staal became just the ninth brothers in NHL history to both score 100 goals with the same team. Eric, obviously the more lethal scorer of the two, had 322 goals over 11.5 years with the Canes. Jordan is now in his eighth season in Carolina.

What the Staal family has meant to the Carolina Hurricanes can’t be overstated. Eric obviously helped bring a Stanley Cup to Raleigh, and captained the team for years as well. Jordan is now wearing the ‘C’ on his sweater for the first time as the solo captain, and it just looks right to see a Staal adorn that for the Canes. Carolina fans have seen a Staal on the ice every year since the 2003-04 season, and things certainly will feel different when Jordan Staal does eventually part ways.

Wrapping Up

The Canes have bounced back from a four-game losing streak with two wins. Carolina will stay up north for a couple more games now, as they face Minnesota Saturday and Chicago Tuesday.

Welcome Back, Marty

No sooner than two minutes after we published today’s analysis - timing is everything, kids - the Hurricanes announced that they have activated Jordan Martinook off injured reserve, five weeks after surgery to repair a core muscle injury that at the time was expected to require a 6-8 week recovery. Martinook is on the road trip with the Hurricanes and may rejoin the lineup tomorrow afternoon in Minnesota, and with that in mind the Hurricanes have placed Brian Gibbons on waivers intending to assign him to Charlotte tomorrow if he clears. The release from the team is below.

Forward underwent core muscle surgery on Oct. 11

Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has activated forward Jordan Martinook from injured reserve.

Martinook, 27, underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury on Oct. 11 and has missed the team’s last 15 games. Prior to surgery, he posted one assist in four NHL games this season. The 6’1”, 204-pound forward set a career high with 15 goals in 2018-19 and added 10 assists while playing in all 82 regular-season games for the Hurricanes. The Brandon, Man., native has recorded 91 points (41g, 50a) in 333 career NHL games with Arizona and Carolina. Martinook was acquired by the Hurricanes from the Coyotes along with a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (Luke Henman) in exchange for Marcus Kruger and a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft (Ty Emberson) on May 3, 2018.