The Carolina Hurricanes are on some kind of a roll right now. Thursday night against Nashville, the team rolled to its seventh straight victory and longest win streak since the 2009-10 season, topping the Predators 5-1 at PNC Arena.
Despite being without the services of their leading scorer in Vincent Trocheck, the Canes had no trouble generating waves of pressure against the Predators in one of their most complete games of the season.
Morgan Geekie scored his first two goals of the season in his first appearance since Feb. 11, calling back to his explosive NHL debut around this time of year last season. Martin Necas, Brock McGinn and Dougie Hamilton also scored for Carolina. Hamilton also added a third-period assists, giving him helpers in seven straight games and tying him with Zarley Zalapski for the longest assist streak by a defenseman in franchise history. Andrei Svechnikov and Jake Bean both tallied two assists.
The Hurricanes’ were once again lights out on special teams, as the red-hot power play scored for the seventh straight game and went 3 for 3, and the penalty kill was successful the only time it was called upon.
James Reimer didn’t see an overly high volume of action, but was there to make big stops when called upon, especially early, stopping 32 of 33 Nashville shots.
Following a bit of a sluggish start that saw Reimer called upon to make some early sharp saves, the Hurricanes’ power play got them going and on the board about nine minutes into the first. With time ticking down on the man advantage, Bean let go a point shot that Geekie, entering the lineup for the injured Vincent Trocheck, tipped home for his first of the season and first NHL goal on home ice.
That kickstarted an absolute onslaught of three goals in 2:21 for the Hurricanes, as Brock McGinn one-timed home a feed from Warren Foegele to make it 2-0, and Dougie Hamilton then snapped a 16-game goal drought and extended his point streak to seven games with his second of the season to put the Hurricanes up by three.
The Canes roared into the second period, with sustained shift after sustained shift in the Nashville zone. They were rewarded with a power play about seven minutes in, and again cashed in on the tail end of it, with Geekie knocking in another feed from Bean.
The second period was, minus the scoring barrage, a much better 20 minutes for the Hurricanes, as the team absolutely dominated possession with sustained shift after sustained shift in Nashville’s zone, and had numerous scoring chances, including a breakaway for Martin Necas. Rinne was up to the task, however, and the Canes took a four-goal lead into the locker room.
The Canes’ power play struck again early in the third period, as Necas atoned for a miss with a wide-open net a few minutes earlier by tipping home a centering feed from Svechnikov to make it a 5-0 game.
Predators forward Nick Cousins broke Reimer’s shutout with four minutes and change to play, but it was a case of too little, too late.
The Canes are now a perfect 6-0-0 in the month of March, and will look to extend their win streak to eight games with a visit to Detroit Sunday.