So far, so good for the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2021-22 season and return to the Metropolitan Division. The Hurricanes picked up a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders to open the season at PNC Arena Thursday night, topping their Metro Division foe in the teams’ first meeting since March 7, 2020.
Andrei Svechnikov posted two goals and an assist Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and an assist, Tony DeAngelo had two assists and Nino Niederreiter, Jordan Martinook and Jesper Fast also tallied.
Frederik Andersen probably wants the first goal he allowed back, but was mostly solid in his Hurricanes’ debut in stopping 25 of 28 shots.
Carolina’s new-look defensive corps was a bit of a mixed bag with some defensive lapses, but ultimately got the job done.
Special teams made a big difference in this one, as the Hurricanes went 1 for 4 on the power play (and generated plenty up a man) and the team’s smothering penalty kill went 3 for 3.
The Canes got a good scoring opportunity about two minutes in as Svechnikov barrelled into the open for a breakaway chance, but Ilya Sorokin stopped his backhand try.
The first goal of the game came in a very strange fashion: play actually continued for roughly two minutes after it was scored. At the next stoppage, the referees got together for a lengthy video review, and it was determined that a shot from Mat Barzal just crossed the goal line at 12:37 of the first period, giving New York a 1-0 lead and turning back time in the process.
The Canes didn’t take long to tie it up, however, as, just over two minutes of technical game time after Barzal’s goal, Teravainen let a shot go from the point that Svechnikov tipped home for Carolina’s first goal of the season.
There was a scary moment midway through the period when Sebastian Aho slipped into the boards and was slow to get up after being hit by Brock Nelson, but he ended up being fine and not even going to the room.
The Canes took their first lead of the season with about six minutes left in the opening frame as they continued to make things happen by getting to the front of the night; Jaccob Slavin jumped in from the point and his wrist shot was tipped by Fast through a Nino Niederreiter screen beat Sorokin to make it 2-1.
Looks like Jesper is off to a fast start. He deflects Slavin's shot and the Hurricanes have a 2-1 lead. pic.twitter.com/BxPh0jUMUL— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) October 14, 2021
The Islanders wasted little time tying things up in the second period, as Nelson dangled his way through the crease and roofed a sharp-angle shot to make it 2-2 just 52 seconds into the middle frame.
Carolina took the lead back about seven minutes into the frame off a strong forechecking shift by the fourth line, Steven Lorentz won a battle behind the net and threw the puck into the slot, where it bounced to Martinook. Martinook roofed a shot through yet another screen (this one from Derek Stepan) to put his side up 3-2.
The game saw another lengthy review with eight minutes and change left in the second, as Niederreiter cut to the net with a fantastic power move and stuffed the puck home to make it a 4-2 game. First, the play had to be reviewed to see if the puck crossed the line before the whistle blew, which it did. Then, the Islanders challenged it for goalie interference, but that bid was short lived and the goal stood.
This goal probably won't go on Nino Niederreiter's career highlight reel, but it counts.— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) October 15, 2021
The Hurricanes have a 4-2 lead on opening night! pic.twitter.com/m4O2ZyYW3f
The Islanders refused to go away, however, and made it a 4-3 game shortly after as Anders Lee tapped in the rebound of a Barzal shot.
Carolina had a couple chances to extend its lead early in the third off a great shift from the line of Svechnikov, Teravainen and Vincent Trocheck, which saw Svechnikov attempt his patented lacrosse move. Staal then came inches from making it a 5-3 game, but rung the post.
The Canes’ power play, which had a very good night despite only scoring once, finally connected on its fourth try about 12 minutes into the third period. DeAngelo zipped a pass across to Teravainen from the point, and the Finnish winger buried a one-timer to make it 5-3.
My friends, it's Turbo Time. pic.twitter.com/JLMdFS8C4P— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) October 15, 2021
Svechnikov capped the scoring with his second of the game into the empty net with under a minute to play.
Carolina will be back in action in Nashville Saturday.