It’s always good to get two points.
The Carolina Hurricanes beat the Ottawa Senators in a shootout Thursday night, the Canes’ first of the season, with Frederik Andersen stepping up to turn away all three Ottawa attempts. Andrei Svechnikov netted the lone goal in the shootout.
The Canes and Senators entered overtime tied at 2-2, with an early second-period goal from Derek Stepan and a late third-period game-tying goal from Nino Niederreiter providing the offense for Carolina.
Following the shootout win, Canes’ head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Stepan, Svechnikov and Andersen spoke with media via Zoom.
Here is what they had to say:
On generating energy in an empty building: You don’t want to make excuses, but it’s tough playing a game when it feels like practice with the environment. Especially when we’re used to the electricity of a full building. Same for both teams, but it was obvious that it was a big factor in the game. Obviously, Freddie was the difference in the game and came up huge a lot and allowed us to stay in their and finally get the tie and have the chance to win in overtime.
On Frederik Andersen’s play: You’re going to need that over the course of a season. Your team plays against a team that’s on it — and you've got to give the other team credit. They were good tonight — but he allowed us to hang in there. They got two flukey goals really, so nothing got by him tonight in my opinion.
On getting back home: I think there’s not a lot we’re going to take out of this game. We kind of talked about it already, but we’re going to move on and get ready for the weekend. Obviously we want to have a good performance in front of our fans.
On deciding the shootout order: There’s a few guys we know we’re going to use and you can pretty much guess who those are. But we only had to use two. When your goalie is stopping them all, it makes it a lot easier.
On the growth of Andrei Svechnikov’s game: I think I’ve talked a lot about him, but it’s just his maturity as a person. It’s reflected in his game. We’ve had a couple of games in the last four or five where he’s made a saving play by his hustle. Going full out all the way back. That doesn’t necessarily translate into a point, but it surely saves one. That’s just his knowledge of the game now and his understanding that that’s how you have to play if you want to win.
On Ethan Bear’s play: I thought he made a couple of nice plays. He didn’t look like he had been out for a long time. I’m sure his timing was off, especially coming into a game like this where it almost feels like a practice out there, so I’m sure that wasn’t easy for him. But I thought he was good.
On if the puck was bouncing and on the importance of getting to the front of the net when that is the case: Yeah, I feel like as the season goes on those are how the goals get scored in the second half. Tonight it was no different.
On Ottawa getting going and getting back into the game: As we go on through this year, I feel like you’re going to see more teams really defend extremely hard. You’ve got to be able play that game, and you’ve got to be a little bit comfortable playing defense tonight. Obviously the difference maker, in my opinion, was [Andersen]. He’s been big for us all year.
On if it was hard to generate energy back in an empty rink: Obviously it’s tough to play in buildings that are empty. We have to find ways to generate it. It may be tough, but we’ve got to find a way to push through it and build your own energy. Overall, anytime you win you don’t critique it. I thought we played a strong enough game to get two points, and that was the case tonight. I thought we did a fairly good job of generating that energy.
On just being happy to get out with two points with the atmosphere and ice conditions: Of course we are happy. It was a big two points for us. Obviously the fans weren’t there and the ice wasn’t great, too. I feel they played and battled us all night. It was a hard game, and we’re happy to get those two points for sure.
On what he feels when he gets a chance in the shootout: Yeah, I was very calm. I was very calm and confident. When you feel a little bit shaky, then obviously you’re not going to score. So I was very confident and calm, and I knew what I was doing. At first I thought I was going to go five-hole, but once [Vincent Trocheck] went five-hole and he was sitting very low, I tried to go low blocker, and it was a good try.
On how big Andersen has been for the Canes: Huge. He’s been doing so many saves for us. Obviously he’s a superstar. He’s just huge. He makes saves. He’s staying very calm, as well. He’s a star of our team, for sure.
On how good of a feeling it is to put in a performance like that and kind of hold the team together: Both teams had good periods of the game. So, obviously it’s nice to get out ahead and then tie it up late. That was a good goal by Nino. We came out, even though they scored early in the third, we came out and played really well and pushed them and tried the whole period to tie it up. Fortunately it worked out. It was a nice win, of course.
On what he thinks of shootouts: I like when we win them. That’s obviously fun. When I watch hockey games that go to shootouts, I like watching overtime. The 3-on-3, I think it’s really entertaining. It’s almost like a let down, a lot of times, especially with the first minutes when the chances aren’t really open, it finally starts opening up and teams are generating chances. That’s where I think overtime is really exciting. But you can’t play forever, so I get it in the regular season. You can’t have it both ways.
On his mindset with shootouts: I try not to think too much. I think it’s important to keep the reaction and my instincts. My movements get slower if I start thinking too much. Guys are too skilled. They can make you look pretty silly. If you’re expecting one thing, they can easily do something else. I just try to match their speed and do my best. I just have fun with it and try to react to what they’re trying to do.