Cary, NC — The Carolina Hurricanes won another entertaining contest against the Dallas Stars by a score of 4-3 in a shootout with Vincent Trocheck netting the game-winner.
The game saw each team take control for long periods of time, making the game exciting right up to the final buzzer.
Both Teams Come Out With Tight Checking
The Canes all mentioned they were determined to win both games against a team on the road, knowing whoever loses the first game will be digging deeper on the second. Despite the Canes’ highly respectable record, they know they lost opportunities in Detroit and Columbus. The hope is, with this shortened season in which every point means that much more, that these losses won’t haunt them in another 10 weeks.
The Stars are the team that had the early jump. It’s not that they were faster than the Canes, but they were concentrating more on passing and shots than lining up a Canes player for an unwelcome introduction to the boards.
It was a more finesse game with the Canes doling out 17 hits with the Stars taking a huge drop from the 39 in Thursday’s game to just 13. That’s both coaching and on-ice survival. Dallas outshot the Canes in the period, 12-8, with the big difference being the Canes’ 2 penalties to the Stars’ 1.
The Canes had Alex Nedeljkovic in goal, making just his 8th NHL start while the Stars also went young with Jake Oettinger making just his 6th career start. Both goalies had excellent games with Ned looking much more relaxed than in his first game. Oettinger has an excellent glove hand which as the game went on, the Canes learned where to place shots.
Stars Wake Up Canes with First Goal
The Stars opened the scoring at 5:49 in the second period. After a scrum along the boards just inside the Canes blue line that the Canes couldn’t clear, Blake Comeau settled the puck for a second to allow the forwards to get in front of the crease then took a shot into the traffic.
The puck hit the skate of Andrew Cogliano as Haydn Fleury had good coverage but the puck deflected to Jason Dickinsonall alone due to poor coverage to Ned’s right for an easy put away for the 1-0 lead.
The goal was a wake-up call for the Canes as the missed coverage was obvious and while they did hear about it on the bench, knew their play had to improve. It did just that and the ice tilted in the Canes favor.
Brett Pesce was having another great game, blocking a game high 4 shots, but it was his off the puck play that was impressive. His anticipation of play, and that goes for the entire defensive corps, is among the elite of the league. Blocking shots, intercepting passes and steals along the boards are becoming a trademark of the Canes defense.
Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin are shutdown kings of their own with the added threat of scoring.
Martinook, Teravainen Pot Firsts of the Season
The Canes’ fourth line provided the spark the team needed.
Late in the period, Hamilton skated in from the point unmarked, sending the puck down low to Jesper Fast (aka Quickie). Quickie stickhandled along the far half-boards, sending the disc up to Jake Gardiner (aka Gards).
With Jordan Staal staking a claim in front of the crease, Gards saw Jordan Martinook start to make a rush across the mid slot area, sent a hard pass along the ice that Marty redirected from 15’ out that went 5 hole for his first tally of the year.
Less than 30 seconds after the goal the Canes went on the powerplay.
This presented a great opportunity to turn the tide on the scoreboard. The Canes powerplay units both looked good with excellent movement keeping the defense heads on swivels. Late on the man advantage, Nino Niederreiter and Jordo won the hard battle for the puck on the far back boards.
After the puck slid across to the near boards, El Nino got the puck and passed up to Gards on the left point. Gards looked towards the goal but sent the pass to Martin Necas(aka Necky) on the right point.
Necky looked to the goal with everyone knowing his shot first reputation, but instead made a perfect cross ice to Teuvo Teravainen on the edge of the near circle who slammed it home for his first of the year at the exact time the penalty ended. Big time goal at a critical time with just 7 seconds left in the period.
Staal Converts Svechnikov’s Trick Pass
Everyone knew and expected the Stars to come out in the third with a vengeance, and they did.
With a faceoff down low, Quickie drew a high sticking penalty while going for the puck. The Canes put their #1 powerplay unit on the ice to start the man advantage. After having difficulty getting organized, Trocheck finally carried the puck into the Stars’ endm passing over to Fishy on the right point.
Fishy flipped the puck to Hamilton in the high slot. He passed back to Fishy who nailed a gutsy pass to Tro in the dirty area. Tro’s shot was blocked, however, Andrei Svechnikov used his speed and glue on his stick to recover the puck.
After faking going back, he carried the puck behind the net and with everyone in the arena expecting him to pass up to Fishy alone in the near circle, Svech made a tricky backhand pass to Jordo who banged it in for the strong 3-1 lead.
Stars Answer Back, Moving to OT 3-3
The Stars closed the gap at the 8:32 mark on what could only be called lazy coverage by the Canes.
The Stars made a textbook entry on the right, passed left then passed to the talented Jason Robertson for a hard one-timer from 20’ out that Ned would like to have back.
Late in the period, Svech got called for roughing, which after watching replays, was just a hard hit. Even Tripp Tracey was scratching his head for what clearly was a clean play.
Everything was looking good on the kill as the Canes threw the puck into the neutral zone. Fishy grabbed the puck entering the Stars’ end with no goalie. Miro Heiskanen was between Fishy and the goal.
Rather than flip the puck over Heiskanen’s stick for an empty netter, he chose to pass to Turbo uncovered in the center.
Heiskanen helicoptered his stick and hit the puck behind his back, turning at the same time to start a 6 on 2. Joe Pavelski nailed a slap shot into the upper corner, sending the game to overtime.
Trocheck Nets Game-Winner in SO
The Canes dominated the OT, including what might have been a make-up call. The Canes got a powerplay for 40 seconds on an elbowing call that normally might not have been called during overtime.
Referees may dispute that statement but more times than not, whistles seem to be in their pockets during overtimes. Trocheck scored the only shootout goal while Ned, in his first NHL shootout, stopped all 3 Stars shooters.
Next, the Canes return to take on Columbus at PNC Arena Monday night.
“Attend” Games as a Fan Cutout
You can still “attend” games. You can have your picture in the seats at the Canes’ home games with a personalized cutout photo. Here’s where to order them.
All the Cary news for the informed Cary citizen. Subscribe by email.