What is that old saying, sometimes the best offense is a good defense?
Well what if sometimes your defense is your offense.
That was the methodology that the Carolina Hurricanes subscribed to last night as the blueline chipped in five of the six total goals the Canes scored against the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night at Nationwide Arena.
Brett Pesce, Brent Burns, Jalen Chatfield, Brett Pesce again, Jaccob Slavin... and then Seth Jarvis just to ruin a good thing (it’s actually very nice to see Jarvis get one because it had been a while and he needed it).
The defensemen took it upon themselves to propel the team forward and pick them out of the rut and it was one of Carolina’s better games of the season.
A few notes on the goals:
- It was Brett Pesce’s first ever two-goal game in the NHL.
- Jalen Chatfield scored his first shorthanded goal by turning on the jets. He’s making huge strides for the Hurricanes and now has three goals in his last 10 games.
- It was Brent Burns’ second ever wraparound goal having scored his first with San Jose in 2016. The old man really cranked on the jets for that one.
- It was also just the second time in franchise history that the blueline accounted for five goals. The first was in 2017, when Jaccob Slavin scored a hat trick and Justin Faulk picked up the other two against the New York Islanders.
- Seth Jarvis not only broke the defense-only offense, but he also snapped an 11-game goalless drought.
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi is making his presence felt more on the score sheet as of late. The forward has now registered nine points in his last 11 games. He had only seven points in 31 games before that.
- Things might also be turning around for Teuvo Teravainen. He looked more engaged than he had in previous games and now has four assists in his last five games.
Also notably, it was a good showing from Frederik Andersen who returned to the lineup for the first time in over two months on the shelf.
Despite being beaten twice — neither goal was really on him — Andersen finished with a 0.913 save percentage, his third highest save percentage on the season.
He looked pretty comfortable back there and had to make a few difficult saves along the way. It was a good tune-up game for him and hopefully we can see more from him moving forward.
And FINALLY Rod Brind’Amour got his 200th career win as a head coach, being the third fastest to reach the milestone in NHL history.
The Canes did not leave Ohio unscathed though as Max Pacioretty would exit the game after just a single period of play due to a lower-body injury unrelated to his Achilles surgery. Martin Necas also ended up heading off to the room for a bit, but he did end up returning and finishing the game.
Both players will be ones to keep an eye on moving forward as each are crucial pieces, with Necas leading the team in points and Pacioretty already hot and scoring goal since returning.