The Canes opened up a six-game road trip in winning fashion Tuesday night, beating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-2 to move to 12-2-0 on the year.
Carolina got first-period goals from Tony DeAngelo and Sebastian Aho, before a rough start to the second period saw the Golden Knights tie things up at 2-2 in the span of 1:19. It was Seth Jarvis who provided the game-winning goal for the Canes in the third period, a goal that actually counted for the young rookie, while Vincent Trocheck added an insurance tally.
Following the win over Vegas, Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour,
On Seth Jarvis: He had a real good game again. He’s got that dynamic ability. He’s also learning how to play away from the puck, so you can keep him out there against the better players. So, another good game for him.
On the game as a whole: It was a great game for us. It was probably how it should have looked considering that they’re missing a lot of players. I just thought we stuck to our game the whole way. Obviously we had the lead and then gave it up, but that’s going to happen. They had a couple of chances and they capitalized on them, but I felt like we just kept playing. Raanta played great for us. I liked our overall effort and the way we went about our business.
On playing the game mostly at even strength: The game, I thought, was officiated really well. They just let everyone play. We could roll our lines and he was rolling his lines. There was a good flow to the game. I thought it was entertaining. Lots of chances and we got them without penalties. That’s how the game is coached now, that you’re going to create chances. You don’t need a ton of power plays to get offense.
On the message transitioning from the second to the third period: The bad part of it, we don’t talk about it. It’s just part of the process of doing it right. We were up two and came back after the second and it’s tied at two. It wasn’t like we were playing poorly, that’s for sure. We gave up a couple of opportunities and they capitalized on them. I just said’ “Let’s go win a period.” That was the attitude we had and we just went out and did it.
On starting the six-game road trip off with a win and the play of Antti Raanta: It’s always important. Long road trip and you’re going into Anaheim next where they’ve won eight in a row. It’s going to be a chore because they’re playing well. Our goaltending was really good tonight. That’s what it has to look like. He made some big saves and allowed us to keep playing our game. That’s a big part of the win tonight.
On Seth Jarvis’ progression being encouraging: I think that’s what we noticed right away even just in training camp. That he was willing to get in there. I think he had one in the first period where he just went around the defenseman and went hard to the net. He’s certainly looking really well. He’s earned every bit of the opportunity he’s getting.
On how hard he coaches the team: I push them. There’s no question about it. You always kind of wonder at what point are they going to go wild? I’ve been doing it this way for three years and I think the guys get that it’s successful. If we play hard every night, we have a real good chance to win. And if you play it right, which is playing the systems and all that, it really ups your ante on your chances to win. I think there’s a real good belief in that and I think it’s showing.
On having Jesperi Kotkaniemi at center: He was fine. I’ll have to go watch it again, but I didn’t actually pay attention to if he was in the right places or not. I thought he was fine. His line was good for us. They generated some good long shifts and did what they had to do.
On how it felt to celebrate a goal that actually counted: Really good. I was scared for a second because they paused a little bit. But yeah, it was nice. I was pretty sure it was going to count, but you never know. I was just happy they dropped the puck after, and I was able to celebrate.
On the team getting so many shots on net: I think especially in the first and third we really played our game. I think in the second we got away from our game a little bit. I think we could have easily had over 50 shots. But yeah, that’s a testament to kind of how we want to play. We want to put pucks on net, especially after faceoffs, and create a little bit of chaos. Good things happen when you throw it to the net.
On Raanta’s performance: Awesome. You always need a great rock in the net, and I think he was stellar. He made a couple of huge saves, game-changing saves. I think that’s what he expects from himself, and that’s what we expect from him. He’s a great goalie, and he showed it tonight.
On if it was a matter of just sticking to their game in the third: Yeah, exactly. That was kind of [Brind’Amour]’s thing, just what he told us before the game was to stick to our game plan. I think we did that. I think you saw in the third that we kind of controlled the play and had a lot of pucks down in the zone. It ended up paying off.
On having the confidence from the coaching staff to play on the top line: It’s awesome. I think those are two of the best players in the NHL, so I think anytime you get a chance to play with two players like that you’ve got to make it count. We know we are going to get our chances throughout a game, it’s just a matter of capitalizing on them when you get them. Playing with those guys is fun and fast, and it’s exciting.
On if scoring goals can help his case to stay or if it’s more about his work as a whole: I think scoring goals is nice, but it’s all over the puck. It’s away from the puck, what I do defensively and how much trust he can put in me. As long as I keep playing the right way, keep taking into consideration what they are telling me and what the players are telling me and just improving every game, I think I’ll make the case a little bit harder.
On what Jarvis is like off the ice: He’s a good kid. He’s funny. He’s a little quiet. Obviously a young kid coming into an NHL locker room is a little shy, but he’s a great kid. And obviously a really good hockey player.
On getting his legs going early and having five hits in the first period: I felt like the opposite in the first. My legs kind of felt off in the first. I was just trying to hit people to stay in front of them, I think. I think in the second my legs started to feel a little bit better. I think as a team we kept it simple, for the most part. We had a few lapses early in the second, but we got back to our game right after that and stayed with it the whole time. I think that’s the recipe for us. It’s just kind of staying with our game, staying simple. I think we did that tonight.
On getting shots on net: I think that was kind of the message, was sending pucks on net, crashing the net and looking for loose pucks where we could get a dirty one or two. So, we were trying to throw it from everywhere. I think we had 45 shots or something like that, so anytime you get that many shots you’re going to get some opportunities.
On getting goals off of line changes: Defensively, that sucks. Anytime you have a guy changing in the O-zone and you’re on the defensive side of it, you have to sort things out and make sure you’re picking up the guy that is coming off the bench. [Jordan Staal] made a very captain-like play there in the third. He was the last forward standing there on the ice by himself, got the puck in, got the puck back, batted it out and made a change while we had possession still. I was able to just come on and finish it. I did all the easy work and he did all the hard work, really. Anytime you have an offensive-zone change, it’s tough on the D.
On if he’s licking his chops a bit when he is that late guy on: Yeah, you see a lot of open ice. Whenever you’re coming off the bench you see everything, so you know where the open areas are. You’re licking your chops a little bit and hoping we can keep possession while you’re getting in there.
On how it felt to be back: Really good. Obviously it was only for a week where I was out, but all the practice and all the stuff I’ve been working on started to feel good. When it got to the game, I got a couple of saves and started to get better in the game. Even though they scored a couple in the second period, I just felt like I was dialed in. I was pretty much ready to play. It just felt nice to get out there and play and obviously get the win.
On start two vs. start one: I felt like today was more of what I want to do. I was more in control. Against this team it’s always a tough battle. There’s a lot of pucks coming and screening and stuff like that. But as the game went on, the second period is where I really felt like I was in the zone. I started to get that momentum in the game. It’s much better than the first one, for sure. The only thing that matters is to get the win, but when you’re a goalie, you can’t be perfect, but you want to be. That was the plan today.
On playing in Vegas: If you can keep the home team off the scoreboard in the first period, it’s always good. When they get a couple of goals the building gets loud, and the home team gets a little bit of an edge. But, it’s always fun to come here. The show and everything, it’s a little bit different than what we have in Carolina, even though we have pretty cool stuff we do after the game. It’s just show business here, and that’s kind of how it feels when you go through warmups and see the dancing girls behind the glass. It’s a pretty interesting setup, but it’s a lot of fun to play here. The atmosphere is always great. And obviously when you get the win as the road team, it makes it a little bit better.
On getting past his injury troubles and on coming back well from this injury: That’s kind of what I’ve been trying to do the whole offseason. The first month, couple months in here, it all starts with the practice and what we’ve been doing with [goalie coach] Paul [Schonfelder] on the ice and off the ice. We’ve been talking a lot about what’s been maybe the issue where I haven’t felt that confident or things like that. We had a little bit of time when I was doing the rehab skates where it was just me and Paul on the ice, so we had a little bit of time to pick our brains and see what the problem might be, or is there even a problem. It’s always good to have a fresh mind and go to the games and enjoy the game. If you go out there and you’re worried about doing some mistake, you will make the mistake. So just go there and have fun. Remember when you were a kid and you wanted to play hockey and hockey was fun. That’s kind of the feeling you want to get again. Behind this team, it’s fun to play. Guys are battling. You want to be part of that group. You want to show to the guys that you’re battling for them also. Lots of fun today, and we obviously got the win. That makes me happy.