Led by Jordan Staal’s hat trick, the Canes were dangerous early and often before locking things down in the third period.
Rod Brind’Amour, Jaccob Slavin, Jordan Staal, and Andrei Svechnikov spoke to the media following the game:
On Staal’s hat trick: That line has been good for a long time. He’s been good. I don’t know if anything is different. He got a couple goals tonight, big ones obviously at crucial times in the game. Good for him. He’s playing well. He always does.
On the team staying focused: I thought it was a good 60 minutes the whole night. The penalties we took kind of took us out of the flow in the second. We were going really well, and then we got a couple of penalties. That kind of weirded things out for a little bit, but I felt like we just got back to it. A really good effort tonight, for sure.
On Max Domi: Everyone was good tonight. Everybody was good tonight. We moved him to a new position, and he handled that well. That line was good. We didn’t get them out that much because they were rolling three lines, so it was a little bit tougher. But when they were out there, they were super effective.
On Svechnikov staying composed: Yeah, we don’t want him in the box. When he can keep his cool. Like you said, it was a clean hit and then some cheap shots after. Whatever. That fact that he is staying out of the box the best he can, he’s doing a better job for sure.
On the power play: It was great. We had a lot of good looks. We got in and had zone time. The second power play, two of our guys were out so we kind of mixed and matched the unit, but they got some good looks. It was good. Penalty kill was great. Everything was good tonight.
On Svechnikov’s physicality come playoff time: Yeah, he plays playoff hockey. There’s no doubt about it. We’ve seen that already for a couple years. I’m not worried about him.
On Staal stealing the thunder of his 500th game: That’s perfect. I love that. Fly under the radar. I’m always happy to see the big man put the puck in the net.
On everyone being happy when Staal finds the scoresheet: Exactly. I was probably more pumped for him than he was for himself. He’s our leader. He brings it every single night. Night in and night out, he’s always working hard. He cares about the game a lot. He cares about the guys in the locker room. I know I look up to him as a player and a person, so when you see guys get rewarded like that it’s special.
On both teams settling in after the start: A little bit. Came out hot. Some weird bounces. It settled down there a little bit. We got to our game and got to letting our forwards go to work, and that’s what happened.
On Svechnikov’s hit: It’s a physical game. I think the hit itself was clean. Obviously the emotions after that get going and the stuff after that is what it is. But I think the initial hit itself was just a good body-on-body hit.
On how the physicality in Svechnikov’s game has evolved: I don’t know if I would say evolving. I don’t think he’s every shied away from the physical part of the game. I think where he’s grown is the retaliation stuff. He’s not slashing guys as much or cross checking guys as much when they come at him. He’s just trying to stay out of the box that way. But he’s always been a physical kid. He’s never shied away from it.
On getting the win: It’s huge. Obviously we haven’t had our best hockey of late the past couple weeks. To get the win, we played well for the most part. That’s huge. Hopefully we can keep that momentum going into the rest — what have we got, 10 games left — hopefully we can keep that momentum going and take advantage of it.
On when his last hat trick was: I’m not sure. It was in Pittsburgh. I haven’t had one here. It was nice to get that tonight. It was a good effort. Obviously my linemates are a big part of that. It was a fun night.
On the pride he takes in being ‘the force that moves the team forward’: I just try to play my game. That’s being reliable and being strong on both ends. When the puck starts to go in, it always feels good. But I just continue to play that solid game that everyone needs to play to help us win.
On if he’s thinking about the hat trick when he goes out with the net empty: Usually try not to, but it was kind of on the back of my mind a little bit. Great play by Tony [DeAngelo] with patience in the corner, and then [Jesper Fast] again. Not only setting up that second one with a great effort, but finding me quick there too. I needed some time for that one, so that was good.
On Staal: He’s been playing like a machine.
On how he’s learned to keep his composure in physical games: The last time I fought, I broke my finger, and it wasn’t good. So I have to keep my calm, for sure.
On Trevor Zegras’ lacrosse goal attempt: It was pretty fast when he did it. He even said it was his best try when he did it, and I think it was really good.
On if the game was big for them to get back on track: It was a big game for us. We just have to focus on the next game and play a little bit harder. And just play our game.