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Lyon, Smith play hero in Canes’ 3-2 win over Blues

The Carolina Hurricanes got a game winner from Brendan Smith and a great effort in net from Alex Lyon, as the depth was on full display Saturday night in a win over St. Louis.

St. Louis Blues v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

Everyone had Brendan Smith on their game-winning goal ticket, right?

Regardless, the Canes did get the 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues, as Smith blasted a shot from the point late in the third period to secure the two points. Brady Skjei and Sebastian Aho also scored for the Hurricanes, as Carolina overcame giving up a lead in the third period for the second night in a row.

In net for the Hurricanes Saturday was Alex Lyon, who stopped 27 of 29 shots faced in his first appearance with the team. Lyon was strong all night and looked mostly calm and collected, doing what he needed to do to give the Canes a chance to win.

In the other net was Joel Hofer, who took the loss in just his second NHL game. Pavel Buchnevich and Vladimir Tarasenko had the goals for the Blues.

It took all of one minute and 15 seconds for the Hurricanes to open up the scoring, as Skjei got his first of the season to make it 1-0. Andrei Svechnikov made a really strong play in neutral ice to reload the zone, and Skjei buried a firm pass from Sebastian Aho to grab the lead.

A little while later it looked like Seth Jarvis had finally gotten his second NHL goal, but it was once again taken away from him after the horn and celebration. After Jarvis slotted home a puck on the back side, the refs conferred and determined a St. Louis penalty on Jarvis had come before and the Blues had touched it up.

Jarvis was denied a score for the second night in a row, and the Canes couldn’t tally on the power play to make it 2-0. Jarvis couldn’t quite believe it, and who can blame him.

Carolina continued to control things for the remainder of the first period, with Lyon making a couple of really strong saves to deny a few good looks from the Blues.

The Canes doubled their lead on just a picture-perfect power-play goalie a few minutes into the second period, as Aho rifled a shot past Hofer for his sixth goal of the season. Svechnikov laid a good pass off to Tony DeAngelo, who perfectly placed a pass to the stick of Aho.

Aho was never going to miss the chance, as he blasted in the strong finish with authority.

The Hurricanes took a parade to the penalty box (a bit early for Thanksgiving parades, but I digress) in the back half of the second period, getting called for three minor penalties in the final 9:30 of the middle frame.

The first went against Svechnikov, who got tangled up with Colton Parayko in the corner and got called for roughing. The Canes killed off 1:59 of the 2:00, but the Blues cut Carolina’s lead in half in the final second.

Lyon allowed a heavy rebound and the Canes’ defensemen in the area couldn’t get the puck cleared, as Robert Thomas punched it out to Pavel Buchnevich for the score on an open net.

The Canes successfully killed the next two, a questionable tripping call on Skjei and a high sticking against Aho, with Lyon coming up big a few times to turn things away.

Carolina, which struggled mightily to start the third period Friday night, came out of the second intermission slow again, as the Blues tied the game up just 48 seconds into the final period.

Ivan Barbashev battled to get a puck centered to Vladimir Tarasenko, who powered one through Lyon and slowly into the net for the game-tying tally.

The Canes played on their heels for a few more minutes following the Tarasenko goal, but finally settled things back down a little bit with the score still tied. Carolina had most of the good looks in the final few minutes and that paid off handsomely.

Smith unleashed a blistering shot, helped greatly by a screen from Jordan Martinook, and Hofer never had a chance. The goal, the first as a Hurricane for Smith, secured two big points for the Canes against a very good Blues team.