The Canes scored all four goals on special teams, going 3 for 5 on the power play with goals from Nino Niederreiter, Teuvo Teravainen and Seth Jarvis. Teravainen added a shorthanded goal, as the Canes went 5 for 5 on the penalty kill.
Antti Raanta made 26 saves to grab his first shutout with the Canes, while Jaccob Slavin picked up three assists in the win.
Following the victory, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Teravainen and Raanta spoke with media about the win:
On the team’s performance: Obviously the outcome is great. It’s kind of what I thought it was going to look like. It wasn’t great. We were certainly rusty with our decision making and how quick we were making plays. A lot of turnovers. But at the end of the day, obviously our penalty kill was great. Our goaltender was nice. He made some big saves early to keep us in the game, and then the power play connected. Definitely a good win.
On the special teams: Right. That’s obviously the game tonight. Special teams were huge. I knew we would struggle with the 5-on-5 play because we’ve been out so long. We had guys not doing much, some of the guys were dealing with their COVID things. The nature of the whole thing, I figured it would kind of look like that. But it was a good win.
On Aho and Teravainen linking up for the shorthanded goal: The last couple years we have put them together on the kill. Number one, they kill the penalty. They’re good penalty killers. When they have a chance, they obviously have that chemistry. You don’t have to tell them to look to score. That’s in their nature.
On getting back to hockey with a win: It’s been kind of weird times. We haven’t played in a long time. It was just good to get back. The home crowd was awesome. It was pretty special.
On the special teams: Special teams was huge for us tonight. The power play had some nice goals, and the penalty kill was good. There were a lot of penalties both ways. So usually when you do good on those, you win the game a lot of times.
On Slavin contributing on the power play: He’s just so good all over the ice. He can do everything. I’m not really surprised.
On Raanta’s performance: It’s really nice. I’m so happy for him. He’s been so good for us. And now with [Frederik Andersen] out, it’s just awesome for him to step up and play a good game for us.
On if it feels like the worst of their COVID issues are behind them: Yeah, a lot of guys had it now. I feel like we’ve got six or seven guys who haven’t gotten it now. I’m one of those guys. You just never know at this point. You’ve just got to be careful and hope we can continue to play.
On the team’s overall performance: I think the first period felt a little bit like we were trying to get ourselves going. Obviously we got a couple important goals there, and that kind of gave us that confidence going into the second period. We did a lot of good things. We put the pucks deep like we wanted to. We played at their end. We created some really good looks. Obviously the PK and PP was really strong. That’s pretty much what you need in this league to get the win, and we got those. I’m really happy how all the guys played today. Now it’s a little bit easier. We’ve got that one game under our belt again, and we can get ourselves going.
On how he felt personally: Obviously the start of the game was pretty slow. For a goalie, there’s not much happening. The last couple minutes of the first period they started to put the puck to the net. A couple chaos situations there. We managed to handle those. I felt in the second period when there was that two-rebound save, that kind of felt like I was on top of my game. I felt pretty good. There’s still a couple shots where I could probably handle the puck better, but I haven’t played in a couple of weeks. It’s always a little bit tough to get all the saves as perfect as you want. We just tried to battle. I was fortunate to get the shutout today. It’s pretty special, especially playing at home. Getting the win, getting the shutout. You never think about those too much, but the last four minutes when they got the power play at the end, that was pretty much where I was like ‘oh no, now they’re going to score.’ But our PK was so good today that they didn’t even have a chance.
On Seth Jarvis playing Santa for his family: He was really good. My daughter is almost 5, and that went so well for her. She was so happy about having the Santa Claus. We were first thinking about me to do that, but then my wife told me not to ruin that for my daughter. Seth took the job, and he was really good. He did an awesome job. My daughter still believes in Santa, so that’s a win for us for sure.
On how tough the first period was and on how he stays focused when it’s slow: I think for me my mindset was just trying to battle. I was just trying to see the shots, do whatever it takes to make a save. Obviously all the saves weren’t the most perfect, but I was managing to keep the puck out of the net. Sometimes that’s how it is. Sometimes you just have to battle through some sluggish periods where you don’t really get those easy saves you want. It’s not always that easy, but when you have the team in front of you who blocks the shots and is always there for the rebounds and helping you out, that obviously helps you. I was just trying to battle hard. I wasn’t trying to make all the saves as perfect as they can be. I was just trying to keep the puck out of the net, and I managed to do that. The second period I started to feel more comfortable in the net again and started to move better. I think the saves started to be more comfortable and more in control.