LOS ANGELES, CA. – The Carolina Hurricanes pulled out a 5-4 victory Saturday afternoon over the Los Angeles Kings, moving to 3-0 on their current road trip.
One of the biggest things Head Coach Rod Brind’Amour stressed after Thurdsay’s win in Anaheim was that despite the victory he did not like the team’s start. How did the players respond? With two goals on the team’s first two shots Saturday.
First it was Seth Jarvis, in his all-important ninth game opening the scoring on a wonderful setup from Sebastian Aho. Following the fifth of the season for the rookie was Derek Stepan, who made his return to the lineup after sitting out both Tuesday against Vegas and Thursday against the Ducks.
Sounds like a good start, right?
The only issue was that each time the Canes were able to beat Cal Petersen, the Kings had a response. Carolina’s first lead lasted only 1:38 and then the second was spoiled before the first intermission, giving the game it’s 2-2 score.
The second period was nearly a mirror image of the first, with the Canes striking first, only to have this lead washed away 3:17 later. Sebastian Aho registered his team’s third goal, serving as his team-leading eighth of the year. After a shorthanded goal for the Kings, Jesperi Kotkaniemi took his turn on the scoring carousel, giving Carolina a 4-3 lead. 6:40 later, that, too was erased.
Just as if it appeared that the game was going to head into the final frame of regulation knotted at 4-4, Martin Necas used an outstanding individual effort to put his team back in the driver’s seat. Receiving a short little shuffle pass from Nino Niederreiter at the attacking blue line, Necas maneuvered around the outside of Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson, leaving him behind before tucking it past the left pad of the LA netminder for a must-see tally.
What very few could have predicted, given the high-scoring nature of the first 40 minutes, combined with the fact that the two teams entered the afternoon contest as two of the best defensive teams in the league, was that Necas’ goal would be the last one on the day. Frederik Andersen, who was tasked with stopping 20 shots in the third period, prevailed as the star, being the sole factor as to why the team was able to hang onto their lead. When the final horn sounded, Carolina had been outshot 43-20 in total, including a difference of 18 in the third period alone.
They Said It:
Rod Brind’Amour following the chaotic game:
“Just the start, I thought was okay. Really, at the end of the day, that was just a bad game for us. Like, really bad. Give the other team a lot of credit, they played hard and the way they wanted to play – and we didn’t. We just never got going. We’re fortunate to come away with that one.”
Sebastian Aho on what the team’s messaging and morale is like in a game that ping-pong’s back and forth like that:
“It’s always a good thing when you can win and know that you can play a lot better. We try to learn from our mistakes. We got two points, that’s the main thing here. We know we have to play a lot better. We have to be more careful, but that’s a big win.”
Derek Stepan on re-entering the lineup and scoring in the first five minutes:
“It’s good. Obviously when you’re out, all you want to do is try and get in and contribute. You want to be a part of it. Once you’re in, it’s all about competing. It felt good.”
Post-game it was announced that the team will not practice tomorrow. They will, however, travel to San Jose in the afternoon hours.
- Today was Seth Jarvis’ ninth NHL game. Hurricanes upper management now has to make a decision whether to keep Jarvis, which will start the first year in his entry-level contract, or, return him to Portland of the Western Hockey League to finish their season. A decision is expected before the team takes the ice for Monday night’s game in San Jose. Jarvis could still play a tenth game and beyond and still be returned to Portland, however, his contract would still begin.
- Frederik Andersen’s 20-third period saves are a team record this season for a single frame.
- The effort was the fifth of the season in which Sebastian Aho had multiple points. Today he had 27 shifts, a season-high for him.
- Jaccob Slavin‘s time on ice of 24:30 led all skaters.
- Ian Cole had a game-high five hits.