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The Carolina Hurricanes capped off their two-game set in New York last night, battling back from a three-goal deficit to beat the Islanders 4-3 in overtime.
The Hurricanes had began the set with a loss to the Rangers on Thursday, but it was hard to fault the effort. Carolina had their chances and it was a pretty even game throughout. The Rangers struck early, before Seth Jarvis scored on a power play midway through the opening frame to tie it. New York ended up taking back the lead midway through the third period though, and while the Hurricanes pressed, they couldn’t capitalize. More than anything, it was a 50/50 game against a good team at home, and the Hurricanes just came up short.
Then last night, the Hurricanes found themselves down 3-0 midway through the contest, despite putting together a pretty good game to that point. However, Jalen Chatfield got Carolina on the board later in the second period, wristing a shot through traffic.
Then in the third period, the Hurricanes dominated New York, outshooting the Islanders 19-5 in the frame. Dmitry Orlov managed to make it a one-goal game midway through the period, joining the rush to get a shot off, which deflected past Ilya Sorokin. Only a couple minutes later, Jesperi Kotkaniemi got to the front of the net to take a pass from Andrei Svechnikov and score, sending the game to overtime. Then in the extra frame, Sebastian Aho was the hero for Carolina, beating Sorokin with a low shot to leave the Hurricanes a 4-3 overtime win.
It’s another set of two strong games for the Hurricanes, further cementing that the team has turned things around after the rough start. Especially with a comeback win, Carolina has the opportunity to carry forward a lot of momentum. They’re 4-1-0 over the last five games, and haven’t allowed more than three goals in a single outing over their last six games.
As of now, the Hurricanes’ 7-5-0 record puts them seventh in the East in points percentage. Obviously, it’s not where you would’ve expected them to be coming into the year, but given how rough they looked through the first seven games or so, they’re on the upward swing.
The team continues to benefit from added scoring at the top of their lineup as well. Jesperi Kotkaniemi is leading the team in points with 12, and while he did take a big step last season, it’s still a somewhat surprising jump in production. Kotkaniemi keeps getting better, and he’s establishing himself as a key part of Carolina’s offense.
Seth Jarvis is another story. After a bit of a slow sophomore season, Jarvis already has five goals and 10 points.
Having those two forwards as part of the team’s core scoring is huge. Last season, the Hurricanes really relied on Sebastian Aho, Martin Necas, and Andrei Svechnikov (pre-injury) for the bulk of their offense. So having Kotkaniemi and Jarvis producing, along with the trio above, plus Teuvo Teravainen and Michael Bunting does give the team better offense.
Goaltending remains more stable as well now. Frederik Andersen put together another good start against the Rangers (and has now posted a .925 save percentage across his three starts), and while Antti Raanta wasn’t perfect against the Islanders, he was good enough to allow the Hurricanes to mount their comeback.
Things are looking a lot better right now, and the Hurricanes look a lot more like the team that's had so much regular season success over the last few years. They’ll be back in action on Tuesday, when they host the Buffalo Sabres.