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The Carolina Hurricanes extended their point streak to five games last night, defeating the New York Islanders 5-2 on the road.
Jaccob Slavin was out for the game, so Jalen Chatfield moved up to play with Brent Burns, while Dylan Coghlan came back into the lineup. Following Max Pacioretty’s injury, Teuvo Teravainen moved back up to play with Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis, and Derek Stepan also drew into action. Frederik Andersen got the start.
Carolina came out of the gate strong, with Jordan Staal tipping in a shot from Jalen Chatfield under a minute into the game. Then only minutes later, Staal came down on a rush and slid the puck over to Jesper Fast to score, quickly making it a 2-0 game under four minutes in.
However, the Hurricanes let New York back into the game a bit later, as Simon Holmstrom entered the Hurricanes’ end and ripped a shot past Frederik Andersen. Then under two minutes later, Carolina couldn’t clear the zone and Brock Nelson took the puck behind the net and beat Andersen with a wraparound, just like that, the Hurricanes’ lead was gone.
We saw a bit of a slower second frame, with less quality chances exchanged. However, near the end of the period, Teuvo Teravainen managed to find Sebastian Aho with a perfect pass for a tip-in front, putting Carolina back ahead.
The Hurricanes pulled ahead in the third period, with Sebastian Aho capitalizing on a turnover to beat Sorokin, making it a 4-2 game. Carolina was outshot pretty badly in the third period overall but with only about 20 seconds to go, Aho took the puck down ice to score on the empty net, on route to a 5-2 Hurricanes win.
Overall, it was another solid effort from Carolina. They got off to a great start and despite blowing a lead (and only managing 26 shots overall), they weren’t giving up a ton of great opportunities throughout the night.
This time, it was Carolina’s bottom-six that dominated. Between the trio of Martinook/Staal/Fast, and Kotkaniemi/Stepan/Noesen, the two lines outshot their opposition by a combined margin of 14-4 at even strength and registered an expected goals for percentage of 82 per cent.
Obviously, it was a big game for Aho as well, scoring his second and third goals on solo efforts. Over his last seven games, Aho has now registered five goals and 10 points.
Frederik Andersen continues to be excellent since his return as well, stopping 29 of 31 shots in the win. He made a big save at the end of the first period to prevent Carolina from going down and was solid after giving up the two goals. Since coming back, he’s gone 4-0-0, posting a .942 save percentage. Carolina was having some goaltending issues for a brief stretch there, and Andersen has stabilized the situation.
It looks like the Hurricanes have hit their stride once again, now without a regulation loss over their last five games (4-0-1). Given the New Jersey Devils are right on their heels for top spot in the Metropolitan Division, having gone 7-1-2 over their last 10 games, it’s key that Carolina has been able to find their footing.
The Hurricanes will have a break until Wednesday, when they face the Dallas Stars.
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