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About Last Night: Turn it up to 11

The Carolina Hurricanes have won five straight games and have scored a point in 11 straight.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes grinded out a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday afternoon in PNC Arena, as the Canes pushed their win streak to five games and point streak to 11 games.

Derek Stepan, Brady Skjei and Jordan Staal scored for the Canes, as Carolina came from behind to top the Penguins, who have been a part of two games now in this 11-game point streak.

About last night:

The Speskjeial Skjeason of Brady Skjei

Brady Skjei has been on fire contributing offensively for the Carolina Hurricanes lately, and he was at it once again Sunday afternoon.

Skjei had a goal and an assist in the game, evening up the score at 2-2 in the third period with a skjnipe (ok, I’ll stop) from the point. He got an assist on Jordan Staal’s game-winning goal later on in the period, too.

With the goal and two points, Skjei brought his season totals to six goals and 14 points through 31 games. That’s an 82-game pace of 16 goals and 37 points, which would destroy his career high in goals and come close to his best-ever point mark. Currently, Skjei’s best goal-scoring season is nine goals, set last year, and his point high is 39, set last year and in 2016-17.

As of late, Skjei has been excellent. He has a point in seven of Carolina’s last eight games, as he’s been contributing consistently as the Hurricanes have started winning.

Nobody is mistaking Skjei for an elite scoring blue liner, but he’s perfectly capable of giving the Canes meaningful production from the back. So far this season, and especially in the past few weeks, Skjei has been a big part of getting goals.

Finding a way to win a game

Under Rod Brind’Amour, the Hurricanes haven’t played very many games at all where they lose the advanced stats battle.

Carolina typically dominates the Corsi rate, expected goals, scoring chances and all that good stuff that doesn’t matter in the end but kind of matters in showing how a team wins. When the Canes lose, it’s often despite winning in those departments.

But Sunday, the Hurricanes weren’t the better team, on paper. The Penguins had the slight edge in Corsi at 52.48%, won the scoring chance battle 26-20, the high-danger chance battle 15-7 and led in expected goals 2.74-2.07.

But as has often been written after a Canes’ loss where those stats favored Carolina, none of that matters. The Hurricanes found a way to win. They played well in the final period, grinded out a couple of puck battles where they needed to and just kept coming until the goals went in.

Sometimes you’ve gotta find a way to win a hockey game.

Other thoughts

  • The Hurricanes are on an 11-game point streak and have done a lot of it without Sebastian Aho. That’s crazy.
  • Jordan Staal deserves all the credit in the world for this win. Got the game-winner, but also grinded on the boards to keep the puck on Skjei’s goal.
  • Speaking of people deserving of credit, shoutout Derek Stepan. Fantastic game for him.