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The Carolina Hurricanes picked up a victory over the Buffalo Sabres at home last night, winning 3-2 in overtime.
Michael Bunting came back into action in place of Brendan Lemiuex on the fourth line, while the Hurricanes also swapped Martin Necas up on the top line, with Andrei Svechnikov shifting to the second line in his place. Antti Raanta got the start.
The Hurricanes didn’t have the best start to the game, being outshot by quite a bit within the first stretch of the game and then relying on Raanta for a pretty big glove save on Peyton Krebs. Carolina managed to pick up the pace from there though, and while a shorthanded breakaway for Jack Drury didn't find its way in, the Hurricanes went on a power play afterwards, and Tony DeAngelo scored on a shot through traffic to get Carolina on the board. The Hurricanes had the momentum from there to close the frame, and the period ended at 1-0.
But after Carolina couldn’t capitalize on a power play early in the second period, Seth Jarvis committed a costly turnover, getting his pocket picked in front of the Hurricanes' net, resulting in Alex Tuch tying the game. It was a pretty wide-open period from there, with the teams trading some high-danger chances off the rush. Raanta notably had to make a huge sliding pad save on Kyle Okposo to keep the game tied through 40 minutes.
The Hurricanes had a power play opportunity to begin the third period, and while they couldn’t convert there, Brady Skjei managed to finish off a great passing play closer to the midway mark of the frame, to put Carolina back ahead. However, Rasmus Dahlin tied the game on a Buffalo power play only minutes later, making a nice play to pass off the boards to himself and beating Raanta down the wing with a good shot.
Then just after the Sabres tied it, Casey Mittelstadt had a good chance to give Buffalo their first lead while chasing down a puck for a possible breakaway, but Raanta slid out to poke the puck away from him, before making a great paddle save on Jordan Greenway.
The Hurricanes did have to kill off a late penalty from Jordan Martinook as well, but managed to do so without giving up much in the way of chances, and the game continued to overtime.
Then in the extra frame, the Hurricanes were able to control the puck in Buffalo’s end, and Sebastian Aho found Martin Necas in front of the net with an absolutely perfect pass, as Necas deflected the puck past Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for a Hurricanes win.
It’s another big win for the Hurricanes, improving to 8-5-0 on the season, and having now won five of their last six games.
They managed to limit the Sabres to just 22 shots as well – that said, Antti Raanta had to be good for the Hurricanes. I think with Frederik Andersen being out long-term, it was important to see a strong goaltending performance to instill a bit of confidence, and Raanta was solid.
Much like last year, the Hurricanes continue to benefit off scoring from the blue line, with their two goals coming from DeAngelo and Skjei. Through 13 games, the team already has 11 goals from defensemen and Skjei in particular already has 10 points.
Something to track in the near future though: Brent Burns is off to a bit of a slow start to the year. Burns isn’t necessarily perfect defensively, so offsetting defensive mistakes with offensive production is important. So far though, Burns has just six points in 13 games and hasn’t looked great at times on the blue line. He’s now 38 years old, so hopefully it’s just a slow start, and not an outright decline.
Regardless, it’s another big win for the Hurricanes. They’ll travel to Florida for a back-to-back set, facing Florida Panthers Friday, before the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM NOVEMBER
- Hurricanes battle back to beat Islanders in OT, split two-game New York set
- Frederik Andersen out indefinitely, Hurricanes sign Jaroslav Halak to PTO