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About Last Night: Happy New Year!

So 2022 is going to be like that, huh?

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Emilee Chinn/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes are the most electric team in hockey.

After a 2021 that saw the Canes lead the NHL in regular season wins, 2022 opened up with Carolina beating the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-4 in an insane game in which it trailed 3-0 after the opening period and 4-0 in the second.

But the Canes clawed back, as they’ve done in other games this year (though not quite to this extent), and scored seven straight goals for the just the fifth time in team history and the first time since 2009.

Some thoughts on a stupidly fun hockey game:

A recap

So, what happened?

The Blue Jackets netted three goals in the first period, as Zach Werenski, Adam Boqvist and Gustav Nyquist all hit the twine, with Werenski scoring on a good offensive-zone line change and Boqvist and Nyquist scoring on odd-man rushes.

The Canes made an intermission goalie change, bringing Frederik Andersen on for Antti Raanta, and Columbus made it 4-0 8:39 into the second period as yet another odd-man rush led to an Alexandre Texier goal.

The scoreboard read 4-0, but the game on the ice didn’t quite align itself with what was happening in the goal department. When Texier scored to make it 4-0, the Canes were +24 in Corsi for in all situations, finishing the game up 77-26 in that category. It was kind of a Carolina blowout in everything but the score.

“We were generating all the offense, maybe the most we have in any game at the start, but we were just thinking we were going to score and forgot about the defense,” said Rod Brind’Amour. “We gave up odd-man rush after odd-man rush and you can’t do that. You score off the rush in this league. It was very uncharacteristic, but it was what was killing us.”

But then, things flipped.

Derek Stepan made a fantastic pass to the point to Tony DeAngelo, who did what he does so well and got the puck in on net. Steven Lorentz was there to tip it in, his first of two goals in the game, to get the Canes on the board just 32 seconds after Texier made it 4-0.

“We just had to get something going,” Lorentz said. “I think we answered after a goal against. It was nice to go out there and contribute offensively. We know our role as the fourth line. We just go out there and try to make something happen.”

The Canes got another important goal later in the second period, as Brady Skjei scored his first of two to make a four-goal deficit a much more manageable two-goal deficit heading into the final frame.

And then the floodgates opened. And boy, did they open.

Skjei scored again a little less than seven minutes into the third period, making it a one-goal game with a pretty snipe. Nino Niederreiter tied things up shortly after that.

Sixteen seconds later, Ethan Bear gave the Hurricanes their first lead of the night to make it 5-4. A minute and nine seconds later, Lorentz bagged his seconds to give the Hurricanes a buffer.

And then Andrei Svechnikov added an empty netter, sealing off an incredible comeback win. The Hurricanes became just the seventh team since 1995 to erase a four-goal deficit in regulation.

The game was a whirlwind, with the team that deserved to win it coming out on top. It just did it in the most interesting of fashions.

“It was kind of a whirlwind there watching them start going in,” Lorentz said. “It seemed like every minute or two. We were just looking down at each other going ‘holy, what’s going on here?’ I really think we earned it, though.”

How’s that for some depth?

The Carolina Hurricanes scored seven goals Saturday afternoon, and Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen combined for zero points.

That seems almost impossible.

The Canes, in a weird game where nothing was going to just go how it is supposed to, got its goals from not the usual actors, as Skjei brought his season total to three and Lorentz brought his to five with their two-goal efforts. Bear scored his second of the year, while the other two did come from known goal scorers in Niederreiter and Svechnikov.

But still, the Hurricanes absolutely exploded offensively in a game where Aho, Teravainen, Necas and Svechnikov combined for as many points as the fourth line.

And that’s a good thing. That’s how you have to get it done sometimes. In Thursday’s 4-0 win over Montreal, Aho and Teravainen combined for four points.

Some Notes

  • The Canes scored seven goals for the first time this season, and the first time since February. That win was also against the Blue Jackets.
  • The five-goal third period was Carolina’s highest-scoring period of the season, and its first five-goal period since a January 2019 win over Vancouver.
  • Brady Skjei had his first multi-goal game since February of 2019, when he was still playing for the Rangers. When asked if we can expect him to score two a game in 2022: “Nope. I’d love that, but I don’t think we need to get our hopes up too much.”
  • The Canes became the second team in the NHL this season to score seven consecutive goals in a game.
  • Niederreiter and Bear scored 16 seconds apart, the two closest goals for the Canes this season.
  • Andrei Svechnikov’s empty netter to end the game was his 69th career NHL goal. Nice.