The two biggest factors for the Hurricanes in the win was goaltending and the penalty kill.
In terms of goaltending, Raanta has been incredibly consistent for the Hurricanes with a 15-2-3 overall record. In fact, the Finnish netminder hasn’t even lost a game in regulation since November 12 against the Colorado Avalanche.
“In my opinion, he was the best player on the ice,” Brind’Amour said.
In that stretch, he’s 12-0-2 and currently holds the longest point streak by a goaltender in franchise history.
“I haven’t really thought about it,” Raanta said on his point streak. “I saw the record after the last game on Wardo’s night. But you really don’t focus too much on that. There’s probably going to be a game where I’m losing, but if we can keep winning, it’s always fun. Guys have been bailing me out a few times and you just try to do your job and help the team to get the two points.”
Raanta’s shutout — the 18th of his career — also tied him for the team lead with Pyotr Kochetkov at three.
“You kind of look up and see the score there,” Raanta said on his shutout. “When it’s 2-0, you really don’t want to let any goals in because then it’d get even tighter, but in the last couple of minutes, you maybe start yelling a little bit more to the guys to take the guys out and stuff like that. But you still try to focus on the next shot and just hope the clock runs out really quickly.”
Shockingly, Frederik Andersen has yet to register a shutout this season.
The penalty kill was the other key for the Canes as the team went 5-for-5 when down a man, including killing off 42 seconds of a 5-on-3 with Jordan Staal in the box.
“We got into penalty trouble and that was really what turned the game for us the other way, but Rants was really good and kept us in there,” Brind’Amour said.
Coming into the game, the Senators had the fourth best power play in the league (25.7%), but the Hurricanes’ fifth-best penalty kill (82.5%) proved the superior.
“The PK stepped up,” Skjei said. “They have a really skilled power play and the PK did it’s job.”
The Hurricanes hit the ice with some pep in their step and took it to the Senators early, picking up the first score 3:48 into the game.
The Canes came down the ice on the rush, but Alex DeBrincat upended Seth Jarvis into his own netminder leaving the net unprotected.
With Ottawa netminder Cam Talbot and Jarvis down in the net, Brent Burns picked up the puck, skated it between the circles and tossed it into the open net.
“I was so scared to look up,” Jarvis said. “I didn’t know what was going on. I was in the net but the play was still going on and I was like, ‘I’m not going to show face,’ and then I saw on the replay that it was a couple of inches above my head.”
Due to the fact that Jarvis was put there by the opponent, the goal counted and no challenge came from the Sens’ bench.
“They knew what happened,” Brind’Amour said on the goal. “Jarvy was in there because their guy tripped him. That’s incidental at that point.”
Not long after that goal, Jarvis was involved in another and this one was all his.
Sebastian Aho found Jarvis unmarked in front of the net and the young winger put a shot into Talbot, but managed to corral the rebound and slide it home.
“I put one on net and sometimes, probably before recently, it would have kicked the other way, but it kicked back to me an I was able to score the rebound.”
“Overall, I think my game as a whole - and forechecking-wise especially - has really upped and I think that’s resulted in me scoring.”
The second period changed the pace of the game as the Hurricanes couldn’t stay out of the penalty box, but Raanta and the PK came through.
“You’re kind of in it in the moment,” Skjei said. “The rhythm of the game gets thrown off. But once you’re killing the penalty, when you get another one you don’t want that to happen, but you just stay with it and keep doing your job.”
It wasn’t until late into the third period that Carolina found some breathing room as Svechnikov found Martin Necas for a one-timer blast to pad the lead.
Skjei iced the game with a long-range empty netter to seal the Canes’ win.
Carolina will be back on the ice less than 24 hours later as they host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. Keep on eye on the ice conditions as there will be a noon tip-off NC State basketball game earlier in the day as well.