Left-Winger Jordan Martinook fights for control of puck during the game versus Minnesota in PNC Arena on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. Martinook made one shot on the goal. The Hurricanes beat the Wild 5-2.

Coming off of a tough loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, Jan. 15, the Carolina Hurricanes put on a dominating show with a 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, Jan. 19.

The game, which was highlighted by multiple penalties from both benches, was a tad soporific to start, but after three quick goals in the second period, Carolina showed no signs of slowing down.

Even with the ups and downs of the power plays, the Canes (28-9-8) were able to hold Minnesota (25-15-4) to two goals through 60 minutes of play. Five Canes players tallied goals and right wing Andrei Svechnikov dished out two assists, but the true star player tonight was goaltender Frederik Anderson, who finished the night with a .935 save percentage after stopping 29 of the 31 shots dealt by the Wild.

“It was his best game, maybe that he’s played for us,” said head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “He’s playing really good games, but we were giving up… too many good [goals]. And that’s why timely saves are so important.”

Ultimately unable to capitalize on any of their special teams across the first frame, the Hurricanes let three power plays slide within the first 20. Four days after failing to score on the man advantage against the Vancouver Canucks — the worst penalty killers in the league — things weren’t looking so hot for Carolina.

Granted, Minnesota goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped shot after shot in the first half of regulation, posting a .828 final save percentage — slightly mediocre for the veteran, but impressive nonetheless in the face of a fiery offensive squad.

It was defenseman Brady Skjei who turned things around in the second frame, giving the Hurricanes the go-ahead goal a little over four minutes after fellow defenseman Brent Burns’ game-tying goal. With the well-placed slapshot, Skjei notched his 10th goal of the season, a new high for the 28-year-old.

“That’s a goal that I’ve been shooting for a little bit here,” Skjei said. “Nice to hit that, and then just want to keep moving forward and keep doing that.”

But let’s not overlook Burns’ biscuit, an excellent answer to Minnesota left wing Kirill Kaprizov’s power-play goal to put the Wild in the lead after 27 scoreless minutes of play. Burns, a first-round pick for Minnesota all the way back in 2003, took advantage of a stickless Fleury, burying Carolina’s first goal right in between the netminder’s legs.

After a sleepy first period and only six shots on goal, the Wild came back with a vengeance, outshooting the Hurricanes twofold in the second frame. However, Kaprizov’s goal would be Minnesota’s only one of the period, and Carolina had a cushy two-goal lead with 20 minutes left to play.

Despite their win, the Hurricanes’ power play was still somewhat lackluster. In a penalty-heavy game — Minnesota spent a combined 24 minutes in the box, bolstered by Ryan Hartman’s misconduct penalty — Carolina only scored two goals on the man advantage. Again, you’d expect more from a team that consistently records 30+ shots on goal per game.

“You’re gonna face adversity throughout the game,” said defenseman Jalen Chatfield, who scored his fifth goal of the season in Thursday night’s match. “Power play may not click, but as long as we can get things going later in the game — a lot of hockey left, and that’s what we did.”

With a goal from Minnesota left wing Matt Boldy, the Wild attempted to crawl its way back into a tied game with 13 minutes to go in regulation. A little bit of physicality on the ice didn’t hurt Minnesota’s chances, either — Svechnikov’s third-period major penalty for cross-checking gave the Wild a fair shot of making it a two-score game with plenty of time left on the clock.

“[Svechnikov’s] got to be smarter,” Brind’Amour said. “I know how competitive he is. It’s just — we’re up by three, it’s not the time to be thinking about being physical… I don’t know, he’s got to learn.”

Despite the convincing win, good feelings did not carry over to the locker room — Carolina left wing Max Pacioretty was seen clutching his right leg with 19.3 seconds left in the game. His injury seemed to be from non-contact play, and full details were unknown to his teammates by the end of the game.

“It’s definitely put a damper on the win,” Skjei said. “After seeing how much work he’s put into this point, we’re thinking about him right now. Just really, really tough to see.”

Another shocking reveal at the end of the game came from the release of the “Last Man In” voting for the NHL All-Star Weekend coming up in February. Leading the Hurricanes with 39 points in the season so far, fan favorite Martin Necas did not make the cut in the final voting.

With another win in their pocket, the Hurricanes look towards a two-game road trip that starts off against the New York Islanders on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Managing Editor

I am a third-year student studying biology with a concentration in technical and scientific communication. I joined Technician as a correspondent in August 2020, and I am currently the Managing Editor.


I'm Erin Ferrare and I'm a freshman from Yorktown, Virginia. This is my first year writing for TechSports. I enjoy writing about and spectating volleyball, football, and hockey.