Fresh off of a tough last-minute loss to the New York Islanders on Friday night, the Carolina Hurricanes looked to bounce back against the playoff-eliminated Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
It was a wild 60 minutes of hockey, particularly in the opening 40, but the Hurricanes took care of business and took down the Ducks by a final score of 5-2.
Defense was optional in the opening period.
Just 1:17 into the game, the Hurricanes opened the scoring by way of an Andrei Svechnikov deflection in the slot that bounced its way by John Gibson.
Less than four minutes later, Nino Niederreiter centered a pass to Jordan Staal for Carolina’s second goal of the evening - goal number 11 for the Canes’ number 11.
Just over a minute after that, the Ducks got on the board thanks to a long-range knuckler from Josh Mahura that Frederik Andersen couldn’t track, making it a 2-1 game.
Three minutes later, Max Domi found Jordan Martinook in front of the Anaheim net, and the winger found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season to make it 3-1.
Two minutes later, Troy Terry gorgeously dove and shoveled a loose puck by Andersen with one hand for his 32nd goal of the season to bring the game within a goal once again.
Thankfully, things slowed down after the fifth goal in the span of 10:30. A four-on-four sequence immediately followed the second Ducks goal, but no goals came of that, and the same went for the Hurricanes on their first power play of the game late in the period.
There were a whopping 27 shots and five goals in period one, but Carolina picked up the majority in both of those categories.
The second period brought more fireworks, just no goals.
Things went smoothly for most of the period, but at 14:25 of the third period, Svechnikov tripped Ryan Getzlaf with his outstretched leg, and everyone got very mad.
Anaheim’s Getzlaf, Gerry Mayhew, and Adam Henrique all got roughing minors, while Svechnikov got his lone tripping penalty and Seth Jarvis also went for roughing.
The Hurricanes got a power play out of the ordeal, but they failed to capitalize, thanks in large part to the stellar performance of Gibson in the Anaheim net. Gibson went on to stop all 18 shots he saw in the middle frame, and Andersen responded with a lighter nine-for-nine at the other end of the ice to keep the game at 3-2 heading into the third period.
The pace of play slowed to a near halt in the early stages of period three. The two clubs combined for just three shots on goal in the first 8:37 of the frame before Vincent Trocheck’s high-sticking penalty.
Carolina killed the penalty, and moments later, they scored the dagger.
Staal cleaned up a rebound just outside the crease and put the puck into a wide-open net for his second goal of the night to make it 4-2 before the final five minutes of the game, and then the captain added his third goal of the night on a shot from the neutral zone with 68 seconds to go to make it 5-2.
The Hurricanes closed the game out with relative ease, allowing just five shots on goal in the third period.
They improved to 47-18-8 with the win. They’ll hit the ice again on Tuesday night when they make a trip to Madison Square Garden for a huge divisional matchup with the New York Rangers.