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Necas delivers in overtime of top-end battle

The Canes and Stars duked it out in Dallas Wednesday, with Martin Necas sending the visitors home happy.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Dallas Stars Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

A battle of two of the NHL’s top teams didn’t disappoint Wednesday night, as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 in overtime on a game-winning goal from Martin Necas.

The Canes and Stars battled throughout regulation in a tight game with little space, as the two top-end teams gave fans a show. Necas was the hero, skating around and firing one past Jake Oettinger to send the visitors home with two points.

Along with Necas, Sebastian Aho and Brent Burns scored for the Canes, with Aho netting the 200th goal of his NHL career. Oettinger was really good for the Stars despite the loss, stopping 21 of 24 shots faced. For the Canes, Frederik Andersen started the game but left after the first period with an injury. In his stead, Antti Raanta was incredible, stopping all 15 shots faced.

After a really slow start to proceedings for both teams, a Seth Jarvis penalty eight minutes into the game gave Dallas a power play and the game’s first real signs of life.

It was the Canes though that made the noise on Dallas’ power play, as Aho got out on a break. And as Aho does better than just about anyone, he blitzed through the neutral and attacking zones, attacking the net and slotting home a shorthanded goal, this one perfectly placed through Oettinger’s five-hole.

The goal was the 200th of Aho’s NHL career, making him the sixth player in franchise history and 10th Finn in NHL history to reach that mark. It was also his 16th shorthanded goal and 22nd shorthanded point, moving him into a tie on the franchise leaderboard with Eric Staal in the goal department and first in the points department. Since the start of the 2018-19 season, nobody in the NHL has more shorthanded goals or points than Aho.

Dallas evened things up not too long after, though, as an offensive zone faceoff for the Stars led to a goal. Dylan Coghlan took a bad swipe trying to clear the puck, and Wyatt Johnston attacked and beat Andersen to make it 1-1.

The Stars made it 2-1 before the end of the first period, as a weird play led to a goal for one of the NHL’s most prolific goal scorers in Jason Robertson. A bouncing puck got past Andersen, who cleared it off the line right to Robertson. The Dallas sniper fired quickly, somehow finding a gap on the near post to beat the Carolina netminder and give the home team a lead to carry into the first intermission.

The second period started with a new goalie between the pipes for the Hurricanes, as Andersen exited the game during the first intermission due to an upper-body injury. Raanta entered and did well off the jump despite not being challenged much, Raanta stopped all six shots he faced during his first period of action.

The Canes tied things up on an absolute rocket from Burns, who went bar down on a beauty of a shot from the defenseman.

The most exciting moment of the second after Burns’ goal was a fight, as Brett Pesce and Luke Glendening threw down. Glendening jumped Pesce after a hit from Paul Stastny — and despite the pleas of Carolina’s bench — both got five minutes for fighting with no instigating issued to Glendening.

The third period was more of the same, as the Canes and Stars gave each other little space in a truly fun battle of two of the league’s best teams. They battled and both goalies made saves, as Oettinger and Raanta both had a couple of moments that kept things tied down the stretch.

Necas won the game just 1:34 into the extra period, the third straight win for Carolina.