The Canes got goals from Nino Niederreiter, Teuvo Teravainen and Martin Necas, who busted out of an 18-game goalless streak to provide the game winner in the third period.
Antti Raanta was exceptional in net once again, picking up the win in a rare second straight start.
Following the victory, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Necas, Raanta and Teravainen spoke with members of the media.
Here is what they had to say:
On Necas breaking out of his drought: He’s had some good chances over the last little while, and that’s just how it goes sometimes. Obviously if you’re going to come out of it, that’s the type of goal you want to get.
On Raanta putting together a few games in a row: It’s huge. He made a couple big, big saves there. There was one in the second that stands out where [Vincent Trocheck] dropped his stick and all of a sudden boom, bang, bang. There was another one in the third there. Those are big moments. You’ve got to have those saves to keep us in the game and not have us chasing it, not have us down too much and change what we’re trying to do. He was big.
On the overall flow of the game: The start was terrible. There was like 10 icings. I was like ‘oh, this is not what we want at the start getting a rhythm going.’ We were trying to do the right things and we have the puck and all of a sudden it’s a breakaway. The other one we made a mistake on a change. It happens. It’s weird. We’re coming off and the puck happens to be there. There’s not much you can do about those things. And those are the two that end up in our net. Kind of a weird game that way. But I give our guys credit. It’s not easy to play hard like we have every night, and guys keep finding ways to do it. You’ve got to give them credit.
On the difference between the two power play goals: It’s interesting. They run the power plays. We give them the ideas, but then they’ve got to take charge of their groups. The one off the faceoff they said ‘we’re going hard to the net quick.’ That’s exactly what happened. We’ve got to win the faceoff first. And the other one we probably had better opportunities to shoot it sooner, but at the end of the day we got it there. It was good execution on other things to get to that point. It was a good two points. I’m happy we were able to win and get everyone leaving the building feeling good. That was really the main thing.
On Necas needing some “dirty goals”: He needs to get a few of those like where he got that one. All the goal scorers get those, too. They get the nice ones that you see, but they also get other kinds. It’s nice. That was a big kill right before that. And then the next shift is the one we score. Good for him. He needed that one.
On if he’s relieved to have the goal drought done: Yeah, always. I was trying to not count the games I haven’t scored. But it gets a little bit in your head. I don’t think in my career I’ve ever waited that long for a goal, but it happens. The last few games I started feeling a little better and getting more chances. Today it finally went in. It’s a good feeling. Great win. Let’s just bring more.
On his celebration: I don’t know. I was just feeling in the moment.
On what the guys are telling him: It’s not even about the guys. It’s about how you feel. I always have high expectations. I want to be a guy who helps the team with scoring. When it’s not going your way, sometimes you start overthinking about it. But at the end of the day we’re still winning most of our games, and that’s the most important thing. When you’re not scoring and you’re winning, it doesn’t matter that much.
On what advice he’s gotten from other guys: They’re talking about going more to the net, getting some dirty goals. In those previous seasons, most of them were kind of nice goals. Not many goals in front of the net and stuff, like today. You’re always going to score a nice goal every once in a while, but I’ve got to get more in front of the net and score those dirty ones more often. That was a key for me to have success.
On changing lines: All season we’ve been changing lines a lot. I don’t know if that helped me, but the last couple games I’ve felt like our line was a little better. Actually today I scored when there were different guys on the ice, so it doesn’t really matter. I got a little bounce on my stick, and it went in.
On if he feels like he’ll get rolling now: Sure. When you score a goal after a long time then you feel better. But it’s not just about scoring goals. [Jordan Staal] wasn’t scoring, but even without scoring he was a huge part of our team because of the way he plays. He’s a leader. If it’s not going your way, you just want to be as good as you can for your team in other ways.
On feeling like it was going to come at some point: I’m still kind of young, but you learn through your career. You’re just trying to take things from guys who are more experienced like [Staal]. That’s the kind of thing I want to do when I’m not scoring, just helping our team as much as I can.
On seeing it go in: I actually didn’t see it. I just kind of went through his legs and saw guys celebrating. I actually didn’t see the puck at all.
On this game being a tough one: We kind of knew that it was going to be one of those games. Seattle pretty much shut the door when we got the puck deep. They were defending good. They took the middle and in front of the net out. We knew that we had to find ways to get the puck to the net and get those rebounds and the chaos going. It worked in the third period. I think overall, it was a tough week. Four tough games. I think the third period was probably our best today again. We kind of locked it down and played pretty smart. At 6-on-5, guys were doing an amazing job there. If I had the chance to make a save then the guys took the rebounds away. It’s a team effort. Good two points. Now we get to rest a couple of days and get back at it again.
On getting a few games in a row: Yeah, it’s funny how it goes when you get a couple games in a row and you get that rhythm going. The confidence is growing when you get good games under yourself. It was kind of easy to go into the game, and there were a couple good shots early on to feel the puck. After that it was just trying to play the game how it went. I was able to make a couple good saves here and there. When they scored the second one, I just tried to keep that there. If you’re going to keep a team at two goals than you have a better chance to win than giving up a third or a fourth. It was just trying to keep it simple and make the save when you can. Just try to fight and battle through all the screens and everything else. It feels good, obviously.
On Necas scoring: Yeah. That’s a huge goal for him. He’s been getting good chances, but getting the game-winning goal is great to see. I can’t wait to see what happens Thursday when we get Colorado here. I think he will get that little good swagger on him and he will start scoring more goals. That’s what we need. We need him. Obviously it’s great for him that he got that goal today.
On having a bigger role in the last few weeks: I think the last month pretty much since the New Jersey game it’s been feeling good, starting from practice. It took a little while to adjust myself to this team and get myself going, but now when you get those games and the good results and good 60 minutes, obviously it bumps up the confidence. You go to practice and just try to keep it there and build it up. When the game starts, you don’t have to think. You just go there and play the game. It’s way more fun doing that than going there and thinking about what’s going to happen. You just go there and play the game. You don’t wait for something to happen. You don’t wait to make one huge save and then go ‘ok, now I’m in.’ It’s just you go there and make yourself the game and try to make the saves. The guys are helping me a lot, so that’s huge. It’s nice to play behind those guys.
On if scoring in his 500th game keeps him feeling young for at least another day: I don’t know. It’s always nice to score. It was a big goal, got us going a bit. 500 goals, it’s pretty cool. Hopefully get a little more.
On staying patient against Seattle: Yeah, we kind of knew what kind of game it was going to be. They play good. They play hard. They play defense well. We knew there was not going to be too many good chances. We kept going and putting pucks in the right places. Good win.
On Necas breaking out of his slump: It’s good. We need everybody scoring and feeling good and playing good. It’s always good to just roll four lines. We need everybody.
On Raanta: He’s been really good lately. It’s all about confidence. He’s feeling really good right now. He’s a great goalie, great guy in the locker room. I feel like he’s really liking being here and playing with us. He’s been playing better and more right now. I think he’s just getting more comfortable.
On scoring right away on the PP: It’s not always that you score right away, but it’s just the mentality of trying to shoot the puck right away. Sometimes you get the bounce there. [Sebastian Aho] made a really good play to me, and it’s a goal.
On going through goal droughts: It can be hard. You’re not scoring for a long time and it sometimes gets into your head, especially if you usually score a lot of goals. You’ve just got to get going and stay positive and put the pucks on the net. They will come at some point. The sooner you realize that everything goes in again and starts bouncing your way again. You’ve just got to keep going.
On if they’ve been talking to Necas: Yeah, for sure. Everybody is helping, and we care about each other. It was the same thing when Jordan was in the long streak. We were all hoping that he would score that goal and cheered for him. Same with Martin. It’s good to get those guys goals, too.