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Hurricanes storm back in overtime, Necas scores winner

The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in overtime Tuesday night at PNC Arena.

Martin Necas skates by after scoring the overtime winner against the Ottawa Senators at PNC Arena on April 4.
Martin Necas skates by after scoring the overtime winner against the Ottawa Senators at PNC Arena on April 4.
Zak Selwaeh

It wasn’t the best game the Hurricanes have played, but they were good enough despite that to bunker down and strike back when it mattered most.

In the final moments of overtime, Martin Necas streaked down through the slot, picked up the drop pass by Seth Jarvis and ripped it bar down for his fourth overtime winner this season, a franchise record.

“His skillset is uniquely crafted for open ice because he can pick up a lot of speed and he has a good shot,” Brind’Amour said. “So I think you give him a little more room and he can wind it up. That kind of helps. You look at most of the goals he’s scored, it’s that way where he comes flying in. He’s got a flair for the dramatic, that’s for sure.”

The game started off quick for the Hurricanes as Jesperi Kotkaniemi got a stick on Brady Skjei’s point shot just 1:50 into the game to give his team the 1-0 lead.

And then on Carolina’s first power play — a four minute double-minor — Brady Skjei found twine, picking up a loose puck in the slot and sending it home.

With his 18th goals of the season, Skjei also tied the Carolina Hurricanes team record for most goals by a defenseman in a single season, originally set by Dougie Hamilton in 2018-19.

Ottawa would crawl back into the game off of two poor defensive showings by Carolina. The first a cross-ice pass to Clauade Giroux at the backdoor midway through the second period and the second a cross-crease pass to Brady Tkachuk at the backdoor early into the third period and on the power play.

The game saw both teams exchanging chances back and forth throughout the night, but luckily, Antti Raanta was a solid and calming presence in the net for Carolina, stopping 26 shots and saving 1.43 goals above expected according to

“[Raanta]’s been solid and that’s what goaltending is all about,” Brind’Amour said. “Not letting in the one that you shake your head about. Coming up with those timely saves. He’s done that pretty much every start.”

And Roddy’s spot on with that.

Raanta’s franchise record point streak has now reached 17 games with the win — his last regulation loss coming on November 12 — and he’s pulled his season save percentage and goals against average way up sitting at 0.91x and 2.1x respectively.

Ultimately, the game was decided in overtime, where Necas thrives.

Even though the Canes weren’t at their best, the team’s talent and tenacity shone through allowing them to come away with the win,

The Hurricanes will be back in action on Thursday night against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena as they try to hold onto the division lead.