With the game getting deeper into overtime, Martin Necas picks up the puck in his defensive zone. Weaving his way towards neutral ice, he recognizes open ice near the benches and turns on the jets.
Once he sets his mind to getting to the net, there’s not much the Sabres can do to stop Necas. Evan Rodrigues recovers as well as he can and denies Necas a clean look at the net. But the Calder Trophy dark horse quickly recovers and sets up the trailing Dougie Hamilton for the one-time slapper.
In the clip above, goaltender Carter Hutton overcommits to his left as he slides to keep up with Necas’ pace. Hamilton identifies that Hutton does not have time to get fully reset and fires the puck back across to Hutton’s right, beating him blocker side.
Hamilton trails the play and fills in nicely to be in position for the follow up, but it is Necas who makes the play happen. In the clip below, the three Sabres are sitting back, waiting for the play to come to them. Rodrigues assumes Rasmus Dahlin is behind him and will take Necas when he goes wide. He even points to indicate as much. But Dahlin has circled back to the middle leaving Rodrigues on his own to fend off Necas. The 20 year-old winger exposes the miscommunication with his net drive and receives a well earned point on the game winner.
It’s worth looking at from the ice-level camera angle, to get a sense of just how fast Necas’s feet were moving and how precise the Hamilton bomb really was.
After leading for a large portion of the game, Carolina showed resiliency to grab the extra point in overtime in what would have been a demoralizing defeat. The Canes will look to keep the win streak rolling Saturday afternoon in Minnesota.