The Carolina Hurricanes’ winning streak came to an end Saturday night in Raleigh, as the Ducks beat the Canes 3-2 on the back of an incredible performance from netminder John Gibson.
For the Canes, it’s the first loss in two weeks, as Carolina wrapped up the month of February 6-2-0.
About last night:
John Gibson’s masterclass
Sometimes, you simply have to tip your cap to an opponent.
And Saturday night, it was an otherworldly performance from John Gibson that deserves its laurels. Gibson made 51 saves on 53 shots faced, his third 50-save performance this month. Which is insane. The Ducks might not be great, but Gibson certainly still is. The Canes ran into a hot goalie, and took a tough home loss but one you can get over pretty quickly all things considered.
That’s not to say there aren’t things the Canes could have done better in the game. Gibson was fantastic, but the Hurricanes also failed to score on the power play four times. But still, it was Gibson’s night that won the game for the visitors.
Gibson faced 53 shots, which included an absolutely ridiculous 28 high-danger chances from the Canes. Gibson turned away every mid- and low-danger shot against, and he had a staggering 18 saves on high-danger shots faced. The Canes racked up 5.58 expected goals and scored just twice, a disparity that can pretty directly be credited to Gibson in net.
The Canes ran into a buzzsaw in net that’s been playing great hockey and was the absolute best version of himself Saturday night. It happens.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi getting hot
To focus on the positives for the Canes, Jesperi Kotkaniemi continues to play really good hockey.
Kotkaniemi scored the Hurricanes’ opening goal in the third period, nicely finishing a great feed from Jaccob Slavin.
Look at this dish from Jaccob Slavin! Are you serious?— Walt Ruff (@WaltRuff) February 26, 2023
Slick finish, too. pic.twitter.com/ejCH1fj8bf
For Kotkaniemi, it was his fourth goal in the last seven games after scoring just seven goals in the first 51 of the season. He’s up to 11 goals and 25 points, just one goal and four points shy of his totals from last year with a month and a half of the season still to play.
It’s nice to see Kotkaniemi starting to get some to go.