For the second game in a row, the Hurricanes found a way to win, coming up with their second consecutive 4-3 shootout win and fifth straight victory overall.
Andrei Svechnikov, with a goal in regulation and the shootout winner, Jordan Staal, with two assists and James Reimer, with 30 saves, were all instrumental in the win. That trio and Rod Brind’Amour spoke to the media after the game, here’s a full breakdown of everything they had to say:
On Andrei Svechnikov: He’s a special player, we know that. I can’t say enough good things about him and he’s only been here a few years, but he’s a game changer.
On the Canes finding ways to win: Today was not a good game for us. I’ll just leave it at that. We’ll take the win for sure, and we won’t remember it in a little while. It’ll just be two points. But we were not in sync. We were a little off for most of the game. I thought the Trocheck line was really good throughout the whole game, and then we were good in spurts but not good enough, really. I thought we got kind of fortunate tonight. But sometimes you’ve got to win ugly games. Good teams find a way to win, and that’s kind of what happened tonight. We hung in there, and then our big guys kind of took over.
On Teuvo Teravainen, Jaccob Slavin, Jordan Martinook and Warren Foegele’s return to the lineup: That’s kind of what I was referring to. I think they were really sluggish in general. I think that’s how it bled in to our group. That’s what I kind of expected. I’ve got to give Chicago a lot of credit. They really came after us tonight with speed, so it was noticeable that we weren’t on our game, but, again, we found a way. That’s really all you want. You want to get two points.
On Jordan Staal: I’ve always seen him play well. I think everybody gets kind of caught up in points to have to play well. That’s not really how I judge it. He always plays well. It’s nice to see him get on the scoresheet, but if you really watch his game, he’s had those chances and he sets up people all the time. The last little while, for whatever reasons, things have been going in for him and getting points. But he is very, very valuable to us. No doubt.
On the shootout: I think that’s definitely turned in our favor. That goes to the talent that we have now. The overtime and shootouts, that’s a talent show. That’s really what’s going on there. There’s not a heck of a lot of coaching going on. Three on three, there’s little things here and there, but at the end of the day, it’s your best players going against the other team’s best players. We’ve got some good ones.
On Svechnikov’s shootout winner: It’s funny, I don’t really know what his record is on the shootouts, I’d have to look it up. I haven’t checked it here in awhile. The reason I went with him was I thought he had a good thing going, and he had missed like three breakaways. He was right on the goalie, and I’m like, ‘There’s no way he goes 0 for 4 on these. He’s too good.’ So that kind of was the thing there, he’s too good. But like I said, we’ve got a lot of options, which is something that we probably didn’t have in the past.
On the first period: We weren’t playing our game. We were fortunate to be tied. Even though we had a 2-0 lead and gave up a late goal, I thought we just got totally outplayed in the first period. I give Chicago a lot of credit, because they really took it to us. Even in the second period, I still thought they were kind of all over us. Really, it’s just a matter with our group of we have to figure out how to get to our game and then the talent takes over after. But we can’t try to cutesy it early. We need to get to our game and then your talent takes over.
On James Reimer: You can’t say enough about Reims since he’s been a Hurricane. It’s just one great start after another. Honestly, watching Patrick Kane come down and do that, I was like, ‘Oh, this could get ugly.’ He’s stickhandling and doing all that stuff. You have to give Reims a lot of credit, because he stayed right with him, on all the shootouts. Even in the game, he made a lot of big saves for us at the right times. He’s been great. No doubt.
On his shootout winner and the play of James Reimer: Reimer, he’s been huge for us. He’s stepped up so much. Even with [Petr] Mrazek out now getting surgery, he stepped up for us tonight. And every night. He’s been huge for us. He’s playing well. We trust him so much. When you trust the goalie, you go on the ice and you try to score some goals and win the games. He’s been great for us.
On my shootout, I tried it in the game a couple of times and I couldn’t score. I tried the same move, to be honest, and I couldn’t score. I decided in my shootout to do the same thing because the goalie knew I had tried it a couple of times and so he knew that I probably wasn’t going to do that. It was a great shot for me.
On the assist he got from Staal and on what it’s like to play with him: He made a great pass. I tried to go to the net, and I knew he could get through the sticks with that pass. It was a great pass. Jordan is huge for us. When he went out of the lineup, it was kind of hard to get going without him. Once he came back, it’s obviously good to see him back. He’s our captain.
On if he tried the lacrosse move in overtime: Yeah, I was thinking it. I had a good opportunity, but I was going too fast. It was a good opportunity. The D wasn’t there. I tried it, but I couldn’t put it on the stick. The ice was pretty bad, so maybe next time.
On how he felt the team played in overtime: I think it was alright. The first couple shifts in overtime they handled the puck for a couple minutes. It was hard, but once we got the puck we handled the game. We’ve got to handle the puck more in overtime.
On this team’s resolve and ability to get the job done: We got the job done tonight. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t the way we wanted to play. I thought they did a great job of playing our style. We found a way to win tonight and keep the ball rolling. We’ve got a group that’s committed and talented and finding ways to win. I thought [James Reimer] played really a heck of a game to keep us in it. We’ll take two points for sure.
On his passes the last couple games: I found a way to find some guys tonight. The first one I just got a step on him and found a way to put it to the net, and got a fortunate bounce, I think, off of [Foegele]’s skate. The next one was some chaos in front, and when it is bouncing around sometimes guys get open quick. I was able to find [Foegele], and we were fortunate that they both went in. I’ll take it.
On if Svechnikov ever surprises them and on if they were ready to come over the boards as he was taking the final shootout shot: He had about five breakaways tonight, I was assuming one of them was going to go in. It was fortunate enough that it was that one, I guess. It would have been nicer if he got a few earlier. I think he surprises us every game, but you feel confident with him. He’s a very talented player, obviously, and a game changer for us every night. Tonight was no different.
On the rough first period and adjustments the team made going into the second: It wasn’t a great first, you’re right. I didn’t like anything really about it. I thought they did a great job of moving the puck forward and kind of stretching us out. I thought they did a good job of keeping you guessing. It’s tough to find guys sometimes. Their D does a great job of finding guys.
So, we couldn’t really get to our defensive side of the game that we like to play and the counterattack. We started playing a little simpler, I think, and that was the main thing. When we did have the puck, there were openings but we made plays and it didn’t work out. They did a good job of staying on top and we didn’t really get in their end. All of those things that we like to do, we started to get a little better towards the end. It still wasn’t good enough. It was good enough to win, but we’ve got to do better.
On how tough it was to get his legs back and on if scoring helped: Yeah, maybe a bit. I don’t think it was as much the legs as maybe the lungs getting back to playing fast hockey. I was just trying to keep it simple and take short shifts. But if we’re speaking about the legs, the legs kind of felt good. A big two points there.
On playing with Jordan Staal the way he’s playing offensively right now: It’s a lot of fun. I’ve been pretty privileged to play with him the last couple of years. He’s so valuable. His vision has been great. You saw those beautiful passes that he made a couple games ago and then tonight again. It’s definitely a treat to play with him. He works so hard, stops the best guys in the league. He can contribute as well.
On what he saw from the team during his absence and Tuesday night that has allowed it to find its groove: Yeah, I think our success is from working hard and wearing other teams down. From watching those last couple games, you could see how hard the boys were working. Tonight, I think we were trying to be a little too cute in the first two periods. When it got to the third period we got back to the grind and keeping it simple and wearing them down. It turned out good for us.