Frederik Andersen is listed as one of the Carolina Hurricanes’ two goaltenders on their roster. Antti Raanta is the other, and he didn’t play on Thursday. But on the basis of Thursday’s evidence, three of Andersen’s teammates might be making a claim to the crease as well.
Third-period saves from Teuvo Teravainen, Jaccob Slavin and Sebastian Aho — yes, you read that correctly — proved decisive, and Aho’s two goals did the rest of the job as the Hurricanes stayed perfect on their trip through western Canada in a 2-1 overtime win over the Calgary Flames.
Just like they did on Tuesday in Winnipeg, the Hurricanes jumped out to an early lead. Again, Slavin was involved, but unlike on Tuesday when he registered the goal that got the Canes going, this time he was the setup man, fluttering a pass to the goal mouth where Aho redirected it over the shoulder of Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom 4:14 into the game.
The Pacific-leading Flames, though, didn’t waste much time getting their own crack at a scoring opportunity. Just over a minute later, Ian Cole surrendered a penalty shot by pestering Noah Hanifin just enough on a breakaway to earn the call. Hanifin’s penalty shot, the first of his career, nearly beat Andersen, but Andersen’s stick got enough of the puck to redirect it harmlessly into the far post.
And...really, that was about it. These two teams are built in similar ways, and for long stretches the game was essentially the Spider-Man meme on ice.
The league emphasis on cross checking bit both teams in the second, with the Flames whistled for one and the Hurricanes penalized for two. Neither of the visitors’ penalties were any worse than some Calgary infractions that went unpenalized, prompting loud protests from the Hurricanes’ bench.
Hanifin made amends for his missed penalty shot seven minutes into the second, when an innocent-looking point shot glanced just barely off the stick of Jesper Fast, fooling Andersen and putting the Flames on the board.
Early in the third, Dillon Dube had every reason to believe that he had given the Flames the lead. However, Teuvo Teravainen had other ideas, bailing out Andersen with a remarkable save that pulled the puck back from being nearly across the goal line:
What a save by Teuvo Teravainen. Oh my. pic.twitter.com/MYMcUhS3vB— Walt Ruff (@WaltRuff) December 10, 2021
How close was it to going in? The flamethrowers that are perched above the nets that crank up when Calgary scores a goal went to work, coating the ice in a red glow momentarily, but to no avail.
For two teams that make their living in skating north and south, there was very little of that to speak of. At times, it looked like a throwback to the late 1990s: occasional scoring chances in spite of the teams skating through motor oil.
But late, Andersen was bailed out again, this time twice in the same sequence. Slavin mistakenly redirected a puck with his leg that was rolling toward the open net, but he somehow swung his stick out behind him to knock the puck out of harm’s way. Moments later, Aho did the same, making a save on a Matthew Tkachuk stuff chance and going a long way to preserving a point for the visitors.
An Ian Cole hooking penalty with a minute left led to the Flames starting overtime on a 4-on-3 power play that went nowhere. Cole came out of the box and nearly finished a give-and-go with Aho to win it, only to be denied by a deflection off Elias Lindholm’s skate.
Aho, though, wouldn’t be denied, turning on the afterburners to blow past his former teammate Lindholm late in overtime. He stopped on a dime, shoveled the puck through the legs of a sprawling Markstrom with 53 seconds left and gave the Hurricanes the bonus point, sending them to Edmonton with plenty of would-be goalies in tow.