The Carolina Hurricanes wrapped up a five-game road trip with a 4-2 win in Nashville over the Predators Tuesday night, ending the trip on a three-game winning streak.
The Canes took command of the game early with first-period goals from Sebastian Aho and Vincent Trocheck, while Steven Lorentz added his first career goal in the second period. Carolina held on late for the win, grabbing six points over a three-game stretch that took place over just four days.
Here are some takeaways from the Canes’ Tuesday night win:
The Canes’ best doing their thing
Carolina got a lot of its key contributions Tuesday night from the guys it needs to be getting those contributions from, as Sebastian Aho, Vincent Trocheck and others continued to play well.
The Hurricanes’ first goal was the reverse of their overtime winner Monday night, as Martin Necas made a great play and pass across the ice to Aho to open the scoring. Necas and Aho have been playing well together in Teuvo Teravainen’s absence, and Aho now leads the Hurricanes in scoring with his two-goal effort Tuesday night.
Necas spins, Aho scores!— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 3, 2021
Martin Necas delivers a perfect pass to Sebastian Aho and the Hurricanes take a 1-0 lead in Nashville! pic.twitter.com/FRu3YrV54t
The Canes’ second goal came from their most prolific source of goals so far this season in Trocheck, and it was assisted by the team’s leading assist man in Dougie Hamilton. Trocheck did what he does best, camped in front of goal, and put a perfect deflection of a Hamilton pass into the danger area into the net.
Trocheck can't stop and Trocheck won't stop.— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 3, 2021
Dougie Hamilton floats a puck on net and Vincent Trocheck is there to deflect it into the net. The Hurricanes have a 2-0 lead in Nashville! pic.twitter.com/yJuaiTjAgB
Carolina’s third goal did come from some less consistent scorers, but the first two came from great hockey plays from some of the team’s best hockey players. That’s a good sign, as Trocheck continuing to score, Hamilton continuing to distribute good pucks, Aho continuing to find the point sheet and Necas continuing to improve are all musts for this team moving forward.
Sure, Andrei Svechnikov didn’t join in on the fun, as he has just one point in the Canes’ last six games, but the good thing about this team is that there’s plenty of talent to pick it up if one player is slumping.
Right now Trocheck is churning and Aho is putting up big points while Svechnikov is struggling to contribute, but down the road there’s a good chance that flips for a stretch of games as well. No player is good for all 82 (or 56), but this team is built on the shoulders of lots of guys and not just one.
Steven Lorentz gets his moment
If you’re looking for a great, heartwarming story so far in this Hurricanes’ season, you need look no further than Steven Lorentz.
Lorentz, a seventh-round draft pick back in 2015, fits the great storybook mold, an undervalued guy who has grinded his way up to the biggest stage. Tuesday night in Nashville, Lorentz’ emergence into the NHL hit its next step, as he netted his first career goal.
STEVEN LORENTZ FIRST NHL GOAL ALERT— Canes Country (@CanesCountry) March 3, 2021
Lorentz gets to the puck and fires it over the shoulder of Pekka Rinne to give the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead in Nashville! pic.twitter.com/S1MLgO1fZz
The goal ended up being the game winner for the Canes, and to make things even better Lorentz scored it past one of the greatest goalies of this generation in Pekka Rinne. For Lorentz, who has worked as hard as anyone to get the chance to play with the best, Tuesday’s goal was a rewarding tally for the time he has put in.
“It’s just so much fun to come to the rink every day,” Lorentz said. “You come to the rink and learn from the best players in the world, and that just motivates you to be better and better and then when young guys come up through the ranks, then it’s your turn to pass on that knowledge, too. I’ve gotten some tremendous help along the way and again I’m so happy to be here in this situation and being able to contribute tonight was just the cherry on top.”
It was a big moment for Lorentz, and it ended up being a big moment for the Canes in the game. His joy was unbridled and obvious, unleashing an electric celebration on the ice as he saw the puck go into an NHL net for him for the first time.
When you're a 7th-rounder who worked his way through the ECHL and the AHL to play on the big stage, you've more than earned this celly. pic.twitter.com/0Rpi5fhM1o— Brett Finger (@brettfinger) March 3, 2021
And that joy was obvious in a wholesome interview with Tripp Tracy during the second intermission, an interview where Lorentz’s smile never left his face.
Playing with fire, but putting it out
In Carolina’s two wins over Florida Saturday and Monday, the Canes carried a lead into the third period and blew that lead before ultimately securing two points post regulation.
In Tuesday night’s win over the Predators it looked like things may be headed in that direction for a bit, as a 3-0 Carolina lead to start the third period was shrunk to a 3-2 lead after two Nashville goals in quick succession.
Unlike in the two Florida games, the Canes didn’t let the Predators come all the way back, maintaining the lead and adding an empty netter later. Still, the Canes let a dominant opening two periods get much closer and made things much harder for themselves.
“You never like to give up leads in the third,” Reimer said. “You want to be a team that when you’re up going into the third, it’s lights out for your opponent. You want them to be defeated before they even touch the ice for the third. But it doesn’t always work out that way. There’s a lot of parity in the league, two good teams and a lot of pride, too.”
But at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter how you get the win but that you do. As they say, great teams find a way to win in every fashion, and the Hurricanes have shown that over the past three games.
The situation certainly didn’t help the Canes, either; three games in four nights in two different cities and two different time zones. To get six points out of those three games, regardless of how those points come, is a massive win, and a huge indication of how great this team really is.
It’d be easy to point at three straight less-than-ideal third periods and say it’s a glaring issue, but it hasn’t bitten the Canes yet. And right now, Rod Brind’Amour has no issue with the way this team is winning games. Nor should he.
“None,” Brind’Amour said. “I’m happy. We won. We dominated for two periods. The other team gets paid a lot of money. And they’re going to come out and play hard in the third period. I’ll take this all day long. Three in four nights, travel, getting in at 3 in the morning, there’s absolutely zero to be negative about.”