The Carolina Hurricanes picked up a massive win in Pittsburgh Sunday afternoon, beating the Penguins 4-3 to secure the top spot in the Metro Division.
Some thoughts on the win:
The Hurricanes did something no other team in NHL history has ever done Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, as Carolina scored at the nine-second mark of both the second and third period en route to the win over the Penguins.
The @Canes (34-11-4, 72 points) scored four goals – two of which came in the opening nine seconds of the second and third period – to earn a win against the Penguins (31-13-8, 70 points) and bolstered their lead atop the Metropolitan Division.#NHLStats: https://t.co/Y5ov3j4vPk pic.twitter.com/iBHYKMtvvD— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 20, 2022
With that, the Canes are the first team to ever score in the first 10 seconds of consecutive periods, and it was the difference in the game in a 4-3 win over the Pens.
The first of those goals came from captain Jordan Staal, as a quickly fired shot on Tristan Jarry got away from the Pittsburgh netminder and Staal crashed the net and won a battle.
Then in the third period, Jesper Fast lived up to his surname with another nine-second tally, as a Pens’ neutral zone turnover got to the stick of Nino Niederreiter. Niederreiter threaded a nice pass across to Fast, who slotted it past Jarry.
At this point in hockey, anytime a team does something for the first time in NHL history it’s pretty cool.
And that thing being scoring twice off of period-opening faceoffs in the first 10 seconds makes it even cooler.
“They’re huge,” Fast said. “Tried to make a play there in the second period and it worked out perfectly. I think we did that one more time before so happy it worked out. A little broken play on the second goal, but it was a really great pass by Nino to open it up there.”
With a 31-save effort in net for the Canes, goaltender Antti Raanta collected his 100th NHL win Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh.
Raanta was solid in the win, as he has been all year for the Canes, making some big saves in some big moments to help lead Carolina to the win.
For Raanta, he’s fitting in nicely with the Hurricanes. He’s on pace to put up his best numbers since 2017-18, and he’s remained (mostly) healthy, which was a big question mark coming into the year.
For a nine-year veteran who has now spent time in four different cities during his NHL tenure, reaching the 100-win mark is a big deal. Good for Antti Raanta.
“He’s great,” said Jesperi Kotkaniemi. “Even when he’s not playing, he’s kind of the dad for all of us. He’s taking care of us and sometimes we have a nice brunch at his place. He just watches what we do and gives us little tips every day.”
- Don’t look now, but Jordan Staal is...getting hot? A slight bit of sarcasm, but it is good to see Staal get his second goal in the last five games after going 35 games without a score. *Insert cliché about it only takes one to get you going.*
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi opened up the scoring for the Canes Sunday, scoring his 11th goal of the season. That ties a career best for Kotkaniemi, who is proving to be well worth the offer sheet.
- The Hurricanes now hold the top spot in the Metro, with games in hand on the teams behind. According to MoneyPuck, the Canes have a 99.99% chance of making the playoffs. The Canes are also far and away the favorites to win the Metro, with -420 odds on FanDuel.
- The Canes are now 6-1-1 in the first game of a back-to-back.