The Carolina Hurricanes extended their road winning streak to three games on Saturday night behind another two-goal game from Sebastian Aho.
Rod Brind’Amour, Sebastian Aho, and Jaccob Slavin spoke to the media following the win. Here’s what they had to say.
On how they managed to keep Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl off the scoreboard: It’s obvious. Their skill and everything. They pretty much do what they want to out there at times. You really gotta tip your hat to the guys. I thought we had a really good game. We took a couple of penalties and they got a little momentum off of that, but even then we killed those and did a nice job. Overall, it was a pretty solid effort.
On guys like Sebastian Aho, Jaccob Slavin, and Frederik Andersen leading the team with their consistency: Our best players gotta be noticeable every night to be consistent as a group. It starts with those guys and they were all of that tonight.
On if it was nice to see the offense come alive more after a slow game in Calgary: Two different games. That game, there wasn’t a lot either way. Tonight, they have a little more up-tempo game, and that allows for more chances one way and the other. We had a ton of opportunities, especially in the second period where it would’ve been nice to cash in. It was nice to get that third one in the third just to kind of give us a little breathing room.
On his willingness to roll four lines and the benefit of that: We have depth there upfront, guys we can count on to play against other teams’ best players. That’s a definite help for us.
On going up against McDavid and Draisaitl: It was a big challenge. Everyone knows that those two guys are pretty much the two best players in the league. It’s a fun challenge and a big task. You need more than one line to shut them down. Slavo, Freddie, just unbelievable efforts. I felt like we were defending pretty well. We could’ve handled the puck a little better, but overall, a very good effort by the team.
On Andersen: Every night he gives us a chance to win. That’s all you can ask from a goalie. It was the same story tonight. He made huge saves here and there. It’s great to have him back there.
On the success of the penalty kill: I think the most important guy on the PK is the goalie, especially against a power play like that. They’re very good and they move the puck super fast. They’re going to get some chances, but you have to make sure they don’t get any empty-net tap-ins. Freddie has to make some saves and you feel more comfortable knowing you have a hot goalie in your net. You feel comfortable to pressure.
On if he put more pressure on himself to get the team out of their scoring rut: You don't really think that I have to score more or produce more. It’s more about the other stuff that comes first for our team. Just making sure to do every detail right and trust your linemates to see you when you’re open and when I have the puck to make the right play, but the work comes first.
On what makes Nino Niederreiter so important on his line: He’s a big boy. He goes to the hoop. He knows it’s his job to go to the net and battle those pucks. Like you saw today, he’s got a good shot. He’s a good player.
On going up against McDavid and Draisaitl: It’s awesome. Those are the games you get up for a little more. They’re world-class players and it’s special. So when you get to play against them and shut them down, those are the games you dream about as a kid, at least I do as a defenseman trying to shut down the best players in the world. Our whole team did a great job tonight, top to bottom, shutting those guys down.
On Andersen’s performance: It was huge. He stood on his head all night, especially down the stretch there. He was making some huge saves. If not for him, I don’t know if we win that game. He’s been standing on his head lately and we just have to keep giving our best effort in front of him.
On Aho being the standout player in a game against two of the best players in the league: He’s a special player. We’ve had him for a long time now and we know what he’s capable of. It’s good that everyone else is starting to know that, as well, for him. Maybe not so much for us because other teams might start bearing down on him more. It’s super special for him. He’s a great guy and a great teammate who just competes on the ice. It’s awesome to see him have the success that he’s having.