The Carolina Hurricanes rode a season-high 52 shots on goal to a much-needed 5-3 win in Arizona Monday night, beating the Coyotes in a mostly dominant effort that had a few gaffes to keep it close.
On the whole, the Hurricanes dominated the game. The shot differential was staggering at 52-26, and the Canes had the vast majority of puck possession and scoring chances. But has been the case way too often over the last month of the season, some defensive miscues let the Coyotes stay close for a lot of a game they had no real business being in.
Still, the Hurricanes won the game comfortably in the end, in big part due once again to its stellar third line. Even without captain Jordan Staal centering the line, all three of Nino Niederreiter, Max Domi and Jesper Fast found the scoresheet in the second period to help lead the way for the Canes.
Vincent Trocheck had the Hurricanes’ lone first-period goal, while Sebastian Aho added an insurance tally in the third period to make it 5-3. For Arizona, Nick Ritchie, Loui Eriksson and Alex Galchenyuk scored, all in the second period.
Antti Raanta wasn’t his absolute sharpest in his return to Arizona, stopping 20 of 23 shots faced while making a handful of nice saves. Karel Vejmelka took the loss in the Coyotes’ net.
And the Hurricanes’ penalty kill did exactly what it always does to help solidify the win, killing off four penalties on the night while holding Arizona to just two shots and two scoring chances on the man advantage.
The Hurricanes wasted no time in getting the scoring started, as Trocheck tallied his 20th goal of the season just 4:01 into the game. Trocheck himself started the break and found Martin Necas, who made a good pass up the ice to Brady Skjei.
Skjei floated a phenomenal centering pass in towards Trocheck crashing the slot, and he took the slightest touch to redirect the puck into the upper corner of the net and past Vejmelka.
This almost looked too easy pic.twitter.com/Kj1h1CbOhX— x-Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) April 19, 2022
As a whole, the Hurricanes dominated the first period, completely snuffing out any hope of an offensive chance for the Coyotes while finding a couple good scoring looks themselves. Carolina held a 12-6 advantage in scoring chance and a 6-2 advantage in high-danger chances, including the two minutes where the Canes very efficiently killed off an Andrei Svechnikov penalty.
The Canes were even quicker to sound the horn to open up the second period, as Fast showed excellent patience to find a goal for himself and make it 2-0. Fast controlled the puck out in the circle and waited for a passing option to open up, but ended up waiting long enough to catch Vejmelka cheating just enough to beat him across the goal.
Not long after that it was a landmark goal for Domi, who scored his first goal with the Canes on a nice chip off a heavy rebound created by Niederreiter. Domi, filling in for Jordan Staal with Fast and Niederreiter, chipped one in for his 100th NHL goal, coming against the team that he scored No. 1 with.
After a blast from Ritchie made it 3-1, the Niederreiter-Domi-Fast line struck again, this time with Niederreiter joining in on the scoring. Domi carried the puck into the zone and made a nice pass to Niederreiter, who bagged his 23rd goal of the year.
But as much good as the Canes did on one end of the ice in the second period, it was as bad down the stretch on the other end as Arizona tallied twice in the final four minutes of the period to cut Carolina’s lead to 4-3.
First it was Eriksson with just his third goal of the season. Shortly after that it was Galchenyuk’s sixth of the year to cut it to a one-goal game with just 1:18 to play in the middle frame, as some poor defending from Carolina let Arizona jump right back into the game.
The Canes’ top line wasn’t great for the first two periods, as Teuvo Teravainen, Aho and Seth Jarvis had barely any opportunities. That changed in the third as Aho gave the Canes a big insurance goal, scoring off his own rebound to make it a 5-3 contest.
The Hurricanes saw out the win in the third period, killing off a couple of penalties down the stretch.
The Canes will be back in action Thursday night at home, as Carolina will play host to Winnipeg in its penultimate home game of the regular season.