“I don’t care how we get it. You want the two points.”
Those were the first words Rod Brind’Amour said in his postgame media availability Monday after a 4-3 overtime win over the Philadelphia Flyers, a game where the Hurricanes were far, far from their best but still got the job done in the end.
It’s a sentiment that rings true for a group playing its third game in four days, and second straight day in the afternoon, which managed to get seven of eight possible points in a really tough stretch.
Monday’s outing wasn’t the best thing we’ve seen from the Hurricanes, but a great team did what great teams are going to have to do from time to time. It grinded its way to two hard-fought, gutsy points.
The first period was atrocious from Carolina, which mustered just two weak shots from defensemen on net for the entire frame. But Philadelphia couldn’t capitalize, as Frederik Andersen, who finished the game with 38 saves, did his job to keep it scoreless after one.
Things got better after the first, though the Canes were still far from perfect, as Nino Niederreiter lit the buzzer just 24 seconds into the period to make it a 1-0 Carolina lead (the third first-minute goal in a period for the Canes in the past two days).
But the lead didn’t last for long at all, as Philadelphia tied things at 1-1 also less than a minute into the second period thanks to a backhanded effort from Gerald Mayhew.
The Canes settled in a bit after that though, outshooting and out-chancing the Flyers in the second period, and it paid off as Teuvo Teravainen made it 2-1. Andrei Svechnikov made an unbelievably strong play to lace a pass into the slot for Teravainen, whose finish wasn’t exactly the cleanest but counted all the same.
The 2-1 lead held up for the remainder of the second period, thanks in big part to Andersen. The Hurricanes’ goalie made a couple of very strong saves late in the frame to preserve the lead.
Philly tied it up five minutes into the third period, though, as a former member of the Canes found the back of the net to make it 2-2. Isaac Ratcliffe made a great play to fire a puck across net, and Patrick Brown was there to clean it up on the other side for the goal.
But as the Flyers did after the Canes’ opener, Carolina answered back pretty quickly and regained the lead. Ian Cole did good work to throw a puck towards the net, and it found the stick of Vincent Trocheck, who backhanded past Jones to make it 3-2 less than two minutes after Brown’s equalizer.
The Canes suffered a costly fight later in the game, as Cole and Zack MacEwan dropped the gloves and got the five-minute major that comes along with that.
For the Hurricanes, that meant a shorthanded D-corps got even more shorthanded, as Tony DeAngelo left the game early with an upper-body injury and never returned. Philadelphia took advantage of that, as Oskar Lindblom scored to tie it at 3-3 with under five minutes to play after a bad turnover by Svechnikov.
The game went to overtime where the Hurricanes controlled the puck for the entirety of the first two minutes, only giving it away after a questionable potential tripping against Trocheck that wasn’t called.
That’s where Andersen came in and shined his brightest, winning the Hurricanes the second point in the standings with a flurry of unbelievable saves.
With Andersen keeping things alive, Trocheck made a beautiful pass across the ice to Brett Pesce, who somehow managed to control the puck and slot it past Martin Jones, who stopped 27 of 31 shots faced in the game.
The Canes grinded out the win Monday, the second afternoon win in Pennsylvania in as many days.
The reward? Three much-needed days off before Carolina returns to the ice Friday night at home against the Blue Jackets.