The Carolina Hurricanes fought their way to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, Dec. 7.
The Canes’ (17-6-1) trip to Manitoba was noteworthy on a couple of counts, namely a sibling matchup between right wing Andrei Svechnikov and his brother Evgeny of the Jets (12-9-4) combined with center Seth Jarvis’ first NHL game against his hometown team. While neither Svechnikov was able to crack the scoresheet, Jarvis earned a point with an assist on center Martin Nečas’ go-ahead goal late in the second period.
Carolina’s special teams came to the forefront the latter half of the game. The Canes scored twice on the power play to pull ahead from 2-2 to the final 4-2 scoreline, and the penalty kill unit executed a crucial third-period kill of a five-minute major against defenseman Ian Cole. Despite Cole earning himself 19 PIM on the night, the Canes’ PK stepped up and showed why it’s one of the best in the league.
“Special teams are always huge in this game,” said center Sebastian Aho. “We did a pretty good job overall. We let one PK go, but we killed a ton of penalties too. It was a good effort all around.”
The second period proved eventful as a 1-0 Canes lead coming out of the first intermission was extended to 2-0 before a Jets comeback pulled the two teams even at 2-2. The Hurricanes managed to regain the lead in the dying minutes of the third period as Nečas poked a loose puck into the net just 20 seconds before the horn.
Nechy for the lead ✅Hometown kid with the assist ✅ pic.twitter.com/3QA88kTPMg— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) December 8, 2021
That initial 1-0 lead came courtesy of defenseman Jaccob Slavin who let a shot fly from the point to score just 30 seconds after the puck dropped. The early goal set the tone for the first period as Carolina skated circles around Winnipeg, outshooting the Jets 15-5 in the opening 20 minutes.
“We haven't had the best stretch over the last couple weeks,” Slavin said. “We wanted to start this trip off right. It's huge going forward. We just need to start games on time.”
Winnipeg’s second-period surge was initiated by a goal from Nikolaj Ehlers on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Just under 14 minutes later, Pierre-Luc Dubois netted a power play goal for the Jets to knot it up at 2-2, beating goaltender Frederik Andersen with a nifty between-the-legs finish.
Andersen stepped up in the third period however, making a few key saves to bring his total to 16 on the night. The most impressive of these was an acrobatic snow angel save with under 16 minutes to go to prevent Winnipeg from staging another comeback.
Frederik Freaking Andersen pic.twitter.com/1qGoXp6bNC— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) December 8, 2021
The Canes were able to see the victory through to the end and get their road trip through western Canada started on the right foot. They will look to continue that form on Thursday, Dec. 9 when they take on the Calgary Flames at 9 p.m. ET.