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About Last Night: Finally

The Hurricanes have been playing their hockey but not quite getting their results in recent weeks. Saturday night in St. Louis, the results came.

Carolina Hurricanes v St Louis Blues Photo by Joe Puetz/NHLI via Getty Images

The recently snakebitten Hurricanes bit the snake back Saturday night in St. Louis, beating the Blues 7-2 in a game that felt like it was a long time coming.

The Canes have been playing strong hockey and filling up the stat sheet in recent weeks, but the goals haven’t been coming in abundance as Carolina had lost five of six heading into St. Louis despite outshooting opponents in four of those losses.

But the goals started going in and wouldn’t stop Saturday night, as the Canes put up seven in a game for the third time this season.

So, about last night:

Finally

A seven-goal game was just what the doctor ordered.

The Hurricanes came into Saturday’s affair the loser of five of their last six, though players and head coach Rod Brind’Amour alike were adamant that they liked the way they were playing.

And honestly, why wouldn’t they? The Canes outshot their opponent 43-22, 36-21, 44-18 and 47-15 in four of those five losses, but they mustered no more than three goals in any of those games. In fact, Saturday’s seven-goal onslaught against St. Louis was Carolina’s first game with more than three goals since Feb. 25, a 13-game stretch.

And finally Saturday night, the results matched the effort. Ironically, the Canes were actually outshot 32-28 in this one, but they finished goals well and looked deadly in the attacking third.

Martin Necas started things out with a brilliant individual effort in the first period on the penalty kill, which was followed up early in the second by a strong goal from Seth Jarvis.

Brett Pesce sniped one home a few minutes later to make it 3-0, with Andrei Svechnikov adding a brilliant power-play goal later in the middle frame to make it a 4-1 game.

The Canes scored three more in the third period, as Svechnikov and Nino Niederreiter both scored on an empty net with Jarvis adding his second on a redirection to make it seven, this one with a goalie between the pipes for the Blues.

The Hurricanes got to the front of the net and converted on their chances Saturday night, and it was a much-needed offensive effort for the team that was as snakebitten as an entire team can really be.

Natural Stat Trick

“Everything we shot went in,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s just a law of averages. If you get enough chances, eventually they go in. Tonight was clearly that.”

The kid is on fire

Seth Jarvis is playing some damn good hockey lately.

The Canes’ rookie standout had a two-goal effort Saturday night in St. Louis, his second multi-goal game in the last five after not having a single multi-goal game in his first 46 games of the season.

Jarvis also had two assists a couple games ago, as he’s got six points in his last five and is looking the best he’s looked all season.

After starting hot, Jarvis kind of hit a bit of lull. He scored just four goals and had 11 assists over a 37 game stretch from Nov. 22 to March 10. He didn’t play every game for the Canes during that time of the season, finding himself a healthy scratch occasionally.

But Jarvis is getting back in consistently and is making himself obvious and evident on the ice. His first goal Saturday night was a beauty, a great power move towards the net capped off by a tricky little finish.

He scored again late in the third, camping himself in front of the net and redirecting a shot from Ian Cole to give him his second.

Jarvis looks really good right now, and that’s something the Canes will need heading into the playoffs.

“He’s still figuring it out, but he’s played well really all year,” said Brind’Amour after the Dallas game. “He had a little stretch where we took him out, but since he’s come back you’re noticing him. That’s what you want out of him. He had a lot of opportunities tonight. He missed on a few real close. That’s what we need out of him.”

Happy Birthday

The Canes had more to celebrate than just the performance on the ice Saturday, as both Andrei Svechnikov (22) and Brady Skjei (28) celebrated birthdays.

A good stat from the Canes PR, it was the fourth time in franchise history that two players have played on their birthday in the same game. It actually happened last year on May 5 with Jaccob Slavin and Max McCormick.

And Svechnikov gave himself something big to celebrate, scoring twice. He’s the third Hurricanes player this season to score on his birthday, joining Brendan Smith and Martin Necas. It’s just the second time in franchise history that the team has had three players score on their birthday in the same season, joining the 1986-87 Whalers (another fun stat from Canes PR).

So, happy birthday to both Skjei and Svechnikov, who got to celebrate with a nice win.

Other Thoughts

  • It was good to see Necas score just two games after his last goal. He had a super long goal drought ended a few weeks ago, and he followed that drought up with another fairly lengthy one. But now he’s scored twice in three games, and hopefully that gets him really rolling.
  • We have to talk about Jesperi Kotkaniemi. An underrated aspect of Kotkaniemi’s game is his physicality. He’s got a big frame and he isn’t afraid to use it, something that I think gets lost a little bit when talking about him. Saturday though he showed he’s also got a great nasty streak, as he dropped the gloves and looked good doing so. Atta boy, KK.