The Canes took an early blow in net as Antti Raanta exited with injury, making way for rookie netminder Pyotr Kochetkov to come in and win the game in his first taste of NHL postseason experience.
As for the scoring, Sebastian Aho and Nino Niederreiter both scored twice for the Hurricanes, with Jesper Fast scoring the game-opening goal. Andrei Svechnikov unleashed a career-best nine hits, while Tony DeAngelo assisted on three of the Canes’ five goals.
Following the game two win, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Aho, DeAngelo and Svechnikov spoke with members of the media.
Here is what they had to say:
On the game: There was not a dull moment, that’s for sure. There was a lot happening. You guys watched it. There was a bit of everything in that game.
On Svechnikov’s hit and physicality: He’s a power forward. That’s his game. To be effective, that’s kind of how he has to play. You never want to see guys get hurt. I don’t like seeing our goalie get taken out, either. But one was legal and one was not, if you really want to break it down. Svech has gotten so much better at doing it within the way you are supposed to do it in the last year, year and a half.
On if he thinks Boston was deliberately trying to target the goalies: Well, what do you think? It can’t get any more obvious.
On Raanta: I’ll know more in a little while. Obviously he didn’t come back, so that’s not a good sign. But he was in good spirits after the game. I think tomorrow will tell a little more.
On if Raanta went into concussion protocol: No.
On Kochetkov challenging Brad Marchand: He got cross checked. He’s competitive. We’ve got competitive guys. You want to stay out of all of that, obviously. I certainly didn’t want him to get involved in anything.
On keeping discipline after the whistle: That’s exactly right. We got the memorandum before the game to stay out of the stuff, and I thought we did as good a job as we could have to do that.
On balancing the line between keeping the discipline and matching the intensity: That’s definitely a fine line, but I thought we did a pretty good job of managing that line and certainly not going over it.
On if he feels like opponents underestimate the toughness of the Canes: Like I said all year, whatever way the game goes I think we’re pretty capable of playing it. If it’s a physical game, I think we have plenty of guys who can do that. If it’s a skill game, I think we’re pretty capable of doing that, too. It was a hard-fought game again. Everybody is playing their behinds off, so far for us it’s been good.
On the players taking to heart playing through adversity: Yeah. What are you gonna do? It’s the next man up. The adversity that we had earlier in the year with the goalies has made this not a big deal. We’ve got faith in the kid. We’ve seen him. It’s not like we’re throwing him in and going ‘we don’t know what we have.’ We’ve seen him. The guys responded with the way they played in front of him, but he responded with the way he played. There’s a lot of faith in that group with our goalie.
On if he said anything to Jack LaFontaine in the locker room: No. What are you going to say? He knows what is going on.
On getting to the net front opening up other things: Well, I think every team is trying to do the same things. They shoot a ton of pucks and get guys to net. They scored their goals that way. Every team is trying to do the same things, you’ve just got to execute it. We’ve gotten some plays off tips and things like that. We’ve seen it, we’ve gone months where we couldn’t get one of those. Right now it’s working for us.
On the way the team has responded in these two games: That’s the best part of our group is how we’ve responded and played hard. I think there’s lots of room to get better, which is a good sign. We need to be better at certain areas. It’s just one step, and we’ve got a long way to go here.
On how he would describe the game: I mean you guys saw it. Just high-paced, very intensity, physical. A lot happened in that game. Crowd was unreal once again. As a player, you love to play in games like that and I’m sure fans appreciated that too.
On Pyotr Kochetkov: First of all, not nice to see Raanta go down. Hopefully he’s alright, but seeing Pyotr go into the crease, I had full confidence that he was going to clutch that out like he had been doing at the end of the season. Just a great goalie. Makes clutch saves and you really want to work hard for a guy like that. He’s always willing and moving. Works hard in the practice, so I wasn’t surprised that he came through in the clutch again.
On if he’s a little crazy like old school goalies: I don’t know if he’s crazy. Funny guy. Obviously he doesn’t speak much English, but he’s trying and I feel like I understand pretty good what he’s saying every time. He’s a pretty good guy. Everyone likes him. He fits well.
On Raanta’s injury being a rallying moment: I guess it was already a pretty intense game so maybe that gave us a little boost.
On the team being calm in the face of adversity: Trust probably. Trust would be the word. Trust the system. Trust your linemate. Trust your teammate. Trust everything. That give you confidence to go and do your own thing. Like I said, a lot happened today. It would have been easy to go off the rails and start doing stuff you don’t need to do. I think we did a pretty good job of keeping going.
On the collision that injured Raanta: I didn’t see it that well.
On Kochetkov challenging Marchand: Actually believe it or not, I didn’t see it. I didn’t know Pyotr got a penalty. I turned the other way. I didn’t see it, but I like it. You don’t want to take penalties that way, it’s good they got both guys.
On Boston not being able to push them around: We’re not going to get pushed around, I guarantee you that. I thought we did a really good job of being disciplined after the whistle. I thought we stayed out of the stuff they were trying to pull us into and got power plays instead. I thought we did a really good job of that, just playing the game between the whistles. If we’re going to go to the power play then we’ve got to capitalize. I thought we did a pretty good job of that tonight. Obviously there’s still room for improvement there. But when you score two goals on the power play and win the special teams battle, you usually come out on the winning end.
On if he feels like other teams take their toughness lightly: We don’t care about that in our locker room. We know we have a lot of hard-nosed players. It’s not about the fights and stuff. If it happens it happens, we don’t really care. We’re trying to play in between the whistles. If they want to get into the stuff after, hopefully the same thing happens and they get penalties. We’re going to go to the power play and try to capitalize there. Our main goal is to stay disciplined between the whistle.
On passing and shooting lanes opening up for him: I’m not going to tell you too much about the game plan, but getting shots is a big part of it. That’s not giving away much, so I’ll leave it there.
On what Kochetkov has been like: I think he’s real calm. You don’t see any jitters, at least in my eyes. I don’t know what he’s feeling inside. I’m sure he’s a little nervous. Anybody would be, right? But I thought he was real calm in the net. He made a lot of saves, wasn’t trying to do too much. He was calm. I think he made 20-plus saves, and that was huge for us. Coming into goal in the first period in a playoff game as a rookie after coming here a few weeks ago, he was really good.
On where the series stands: Yeah, we’ve just got to keep playing the same way. Obviously as we head to Boston it will be a little bit of a jolt for them with the home crowd, but we’re going to try to do the same thing we’ve been doing.
On the physical aspect of his game: Obviously I like the physical part of the game, but I feel bad for that guy. It was a pretty hard hit. I was in a spot where I kind of had to hit it. I had time there and he didn’t see me. I had to do that, but obviously I feel bad and I hope for him.
On if he had talked to Kochetkov yet: I didn’t talk to him yet, but I’m pretty sure he’s pretty excited. We’re pretty happy for him.
On Kochetkov: He’s a very confident guy. Awesome guy and so funny. When he gets the opportunity, he’s always ready for that. He knows that if something were to happen he’d go into the net and he’s going to show off his best game.
On if he said anything to him before he went onto the ice: Yeah, I said, “Let’s be confident and don’t worry about anything.” It’s a playoff hockey and I said, “I know you’re ready and I know you’re going to produce well here.”
On Kochetkov facing off with Brad Marchand: He’s that kind of guy. I remember from the past, playing with him in junior hockey. He was always that kind of guy. Gets into that, but I told him after the second period to just stay calm. That’s what I keep saying to myself as well.
On being a much tougher team than prior years: For sure. We’ve got some guys me and [Ian Cole] and we know, overall, we have a great team here. I feel like we have more experience here and we just know what to do.
On if he’s seen Raanta at all: Yeah I saw him. I think he’s good. I didn’t talk with him, but he looked good.
On going to Boston up 2-0: It feels great. 2-0. What else to say here.
On utilizing his size better this season: I’m a big boy and I’ve got to use my body well. That’s what I’m trying to do especially in the corners and behind the net. Try to find that open space and go in there and make a play or something.