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Trocheck propels Canes to big win over Stars

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The Carolina Hurricanes put together a great effort in PNC Arena Saturday night, beating the Dallas Stars 4-1 behind two goals from Vincent Trocheck.

Forward Vincent Trocheck sprints for the puck against the Dallas Stars in PNC Arena, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. Trocheck notched two goals, contributing to the 4-1 win in regulation.
Kaydee Gawlik

In their first meeting of the year against the defending Western Conference champs, the Carolina Hurricanes came out on top, beating the Dallas Stars 4-1 Saturday night in PNC Arena.

The Canes (4-1-0) got two first-period goals from Vincent Trocheck, as well as second-period tallies from Andrei Svechnikov and Ryan Dzingel. Both Martin Necas and Sebastian Aho provided multiple assists, as the Hurricanes coasted past the previously undefeated Stars (4-1-0).

The special teams units were particularly strong for Carolina Saturday night, as the Canes went 3 for 5 on the power play with Trocheck’s second goal, Svechnikov’s goal and Dzingel’s goal all coming with the man advantage.

On the other side of that, Dallas, who entered the game with the NHL’s best power play, was 1 for 6 with a man advantage. The Stars totaled just four shots on goal during their first four power plays of the night, but Joe Pavelski tallied quickly into the fifth to end the Carolina shutout.

The Canes started with Petr Mrazek in net, with James Reimer likely slated to go in Sunday afternoon’s game against Dallas, but the plan changed quickly for Rod Brind’Amour’s squad. Just 2:47 into the game, Canes’ forward Max McCormick skated hard into Mrazek, who immediately went down. Mrazek got up and skated quickly to the locker room, holding his arm, and he never returned.

Reimer entered the game and played really well against little traffic, stopping 10 of 11 shots faced on the night. Former Carolina goaltender Anton Khudobin started in net for the Stars, letting in four goals on 16 shots before being replaced by Jake Oettinger. Oettinger stopped all 10 shots he faced.

After the Stars controlled the puck for most of the opening few minutes, the Hurricanes opened the scoring as Trocheck netted one past Khudobin’s glove off a great backhanded feed from Martin Necas. Steven Lorentz carried the puck into the offensive zone, laying a pass to Necas past the red line off the boards.

Necas controlled it and delivered a perfect backhanded layoff to Trocheck, who lifted the puck over the glove of Khudobin and into the net for his third goal of the season. For Lorentz, who got the secondary assist, it was his first career point.

Trocheck tallied again to make it 2-0 less than three minutes later, staying tough in front of the crease on a power play to cash in on an entry pass from Jordan Staal. Stars defenseman John Klingberg went to the box for interference after a hit to the head of Jake Bean to give the Canes’ the man advantage. Bean went to the locker room for a while, but returned to the ice during the first period.

Just over a minute into the Klingberg penalty, Svechnikov threaded a pass across the ice to Staal, who fed one into Trocheck. The initial effort from Trocheck was stopped by Khudobin, but the Canes’ center battled for a second effort to put his second goal of the night past the former Carolina goaltender in between the pipes for Dallas.

Along with the injury to Mrazek and temporary loss of Bean, the Hurricanes lost McCormick to injury in the opening period. McCormick took a hard hit along the boards from Dallas’ Blake Comeau, and left the ice with an upper-body injury. He didn’t return.

After each team killed a penalty off early in the second period, the Hurricanes opened up the floodgates with a pair of power-play goals. The first came from Svechnikov, who took advantage of a tripping on Mark Pysyk with a nasty forehand backhand move to beat Khudobin.

Svechnikov received a stellar feed from Aho, and he used his dazzling stick skills to net his fourth goal of the young season.

The Hurricanes stayed on the power play as Radek Faksa was called for interference during the Svechnikov goal, and Carolina made it 4-0 with another brilliant team effort on the power play. Necas delivered a phenomenal cross-ice pass to Dzingel, who roofed it for his second of the year. Following Dzingel’s goal, Khudobin was pulled for Oettinger.

For the Stars, there was almost nothing going offensively during the second period. It took Dallas nearly 14 minutes to register its first shot on goal in the middle frame, and the Stars finished the frame with just two shots on goal despite going on the power play three times.

The opening 10 minutes of the third period weren’t particularly fruitful for either team, with Dallas again taking about half a period to register its first shot on goal.

The Stars broke through for a goal on their fifth power play of the evening, as Pavelski just six seconds into the man advantage after a slash was called on Aho. It was Dallas’ first shot of the period, and it came 9:36 into the frame.

The Canes killed off another penalty to see out the win, moving to 2-0-0 inside of PNC Arena this year. The Hurricanes and Stars will run it back Sunday afternoon in the second leg of the back-to-back. Puck drop will be at 5 p.m.