The Carolina Hurricanes once again emerged victorious in the battle of the best friends, as Frederik Andersen posted a 32-save shutout in a 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at PNC Arena.
Right out of the gate, it was a dominant showing by Carolina.
With all four lines exhibiting dominant shifts in the Habs zone, a power play goal and even a last minute goal due to Andrei Svechnikov just winning a battle in front, the first period was textbook for what the Hurricanes want to do.
The ball got rolling early after Jordan Martinook – in his first game back from injury – drew a penalty with his heavy forechecking and only five seconds into the power play, Teuvo Teravainen slap passed the puck right into the slot for a cruising Sebastian Aho to get his stick on to redirect in.
After a few more dominant shifts and with the period winding down, Svechnikov did what he does best, get under his opponents skin with his physicality and score a goal.
After a few back-and-forth physical exchanges with David Savard, Svechnikov went to the crease and as Savard was busy trying to cross-check him, Svechnikov swatted a Jaccob Slavin pass past Jake Allen with 11 seconds to go in the period.
The goal also marked Svechnikov’s 200th career NHL point.
The rout didn’t slow down there because Carolina was cruising to start the second as well and eventually the Canes broke through again.
After Tony DeAngelo’s shot from the point was blocked, the Finnish connection came alive as Aho collected the loose puck and fed Teravainen for the goal this time.
The Canes then went on to put up 26 shots on goal – the second most the team has ever had in a single period – helped along by three straight power play opportunities, but Jake Allen was on it making numerous tough saves.
The Hurricanes sort of let off the gas in the third period which allowed Montreal to start to pile on some shots, but only a few of those were high-danger and even among those Andersen wasn’t fazed by any.
Svechnikov would hit the bullseye on the empty-net from his own zone to extend the lead to 4-0 which would be the final score change of the game.
The Hurricanes swept all three games in the season series with Montreal, posting two shutouts and outscoring them 12-1.
Despite not scoring in the contest, the Jordan Staal line was once again dominant, outchancing their competition 18-6 at 5-on-5 according to NaturalStatTrick.com. They started the game with a 1:30 long shift in the Montreal zone and put together so many grade-A chances.
Another good look was Max Domi on the second line with Vincent Trocheck and Andrei Svechnikov. The line had much more noticeable jump in the game and Domi looked like he fit right in.
Only time will tell how that line may pan out, but early odds are looking good.
Carolina will next host the Minnesota Wild at PNC Arena, Saturday night at 7 p.m.