Friday night, the previously 26-8-2 Carolina Hurricanes faced the 26-10-4 New York Rangers in a high-level matchup between the top two teams in the Metropolitan. The Canes were able to head out on top in a 6-3 win, with the help of quite a few former Rangers.
Aho’s landmark night
Friday night was full of big moments for Sebastian Aho, as he reached his 400th career game and notched his 200th career assist. Since he was drafted 35th overall by Carolina back in 2015, his time with the Canes has been monumental. He’s amassed 162 goals and 200 assists for a total of 362 points, and he’s given this current Canes squad the starpower and playmaking they need to (hopefully) make it far.
“Time flies, I guess,” Aho said. “It’s already my sixth year here and it feels like I just got here.”
With a few minutes remaining in the first period, Aho tallied his 199th assist on Seth Jarvis’s wrist shot that put the Canes up 2-0, and with just five remaining in the second period, he scored his 17th goal of the season with a gritty rebound shot that gave the Canes a three-goal lead.
Finally, he was able to grab his 200th career assist on Tony DeAngelo’s power-play goal. It was a well-deserved night for Aho.
“His evolution right now, as a player, has been great,” Rod Brind’Amour said.
Just last week, it was announced that Aho made the 2022 All-Star Game, his second appearance of the kind. He’s claimed the top-line center spot in the lineup and won’t be a free agent until 2024, so here’s to looking forward to more of Sebastian Aho in the future of Carolina.
Former Rangers shine
A number of Carolina’s current players have spent some time with the New York Rangers, but Tony DeAngelo’s first appearance against his former team was definitely notable.
And his performance was no different than what Canes fans have learned to expect. Just over 13 minutes into the first period, DeAngelo notched his 12th power play assist of the year on a tip-in from Trocheck.
Then, early in the second period, another former Ranger extended the lead to 3-0, and it was Jesper Fast with his ninth of the year (and first against his former team), with a helper from DeAngelo.
To finish it off, DeAngelo was able to score the last goal of the game and end it with a three-point night.
“He’s a great player for us,” Aho said.
The former Rangers were scoring, and it was for their new squad instead of the red, white and blue.
The kid scores again
Seth Jarvis has been making waves ever since he entered the league earlier this season, and Friday was no exception. Jarvis scored his eighth goal of the year to extend the Canes lead late in the first period.
In just 27 games, the rookie now has 17 points and has been consistently promoted by Brind’Amour, now logging solid minutes on the top forward lines.
Svechnikov is everywhere
We’ve always known how impressive Andrei Svechnikov’s playmaking is— it’s absolutely no surprise. This game was just a reminder of that fact, as Svechnikov was able to set up two key goals last night.
First, he tallied the secondary assist on Trocheck’s first goal, but more impressively, his playmaking abilities were put on full display when he set up the Nino Niederreiter goal that gave the Canes a 5-1 lead. He faked the Michigan move and was able to deke out the Rangers defense and hand it over to Niederreiter to finish it off, getting his 100th assist along the way.
“His ability to pass the puck is elite,” Brind’Amour said.
The Canes offensive abilities have been clearly demonstrated lately, especially following the 7-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night, and Svechnikov seems to always be a part of setting up these victories.
Penalty kill struggles, power play thrives
Carolina’s penalty kill went 1 for 3 Friday night, which is somewhat of an anomaly for this team. Throughout the season, special teams have never seemed to be too much of a struggle, but last night, they were what allowed the Rangers to fight their way back into the game with a goal on the man-advantage during the third period. This gave the Rangers the offensive momentum that led them to score another quick goal, cutting the Canes lead to just two goals at 5-3.
Luckily, play with the man-advantage went 2 for 2 Friday night, which was able to propel the Canes to this impressive win. Their power play is now 30 for 112 (26.8%) and their penalty kill is now 119 for 134 (88.8%).
The Canes have now won three straight and are looking to continue their streak as they travel to New Jersey tomorrow to face the Devils (14-19-5) at 7pm ET at the Prudential Center.