Despite a three-goal run late in the third period, the Carolina Hurricanes fell to the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in overtime at Canada Life Centre on Nov. 21.
After trailing for the bulk of the game, the Canes (10-5-4) went on an unbelievable scoring spree to tie things up in Winnipeg with just over 38 seconds in regulation. The Jets (11-5-1) beat Carolina to the extra goal, but given the way the Hurricanes were playing for the first 55 minutes, it was a miracle they made it to overtime at all.
“We were out of that game in the third, and then they just kinda dug in,” said head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I gotta give the guys credit for not giving up. We lost the specialty point at the end, but the fact that we were able to come back … I’m proud of that.”
Saturday’s disappointing performance against the Minnesota Wild spelled out a special need for Carolina to pull off a road win in Winnipeg. Brind’Amour certainly had plenty to say about it after a lackluster performance in Minneapolis handed the Hurricanes their second overtime loss in a row.
Carolina looked a little more promising at the start of the first frame, but quickly fell flat to essentially let goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov call the shots. Kochetkov, who recorded his first NHL shutout at home on Nov. 14, played as well as he could with a bare-bones defensive line.
Even 1,700 miles away in Raleigh, you could feel the mood shift from bad to worse about seven minutes into the second frame after the Jets put their second goal past Carolina. A clear breakaway from Winnipeg center David Gustafsson led to a perfect rebound opportunity that sailed past Kochetkov and defensemen Calvin de Haan and Jalen Chatfield.
The Hurricanes just couldn’t capitalize on a single power play, let alone find the goal without an extra player on the ice until late in the third period. Any momentum from Carolina’s 7-2 win over Edmonton less than two weeks prior was completely gone, and star players like center Sebastian Aho or right wing Andrei Svechnikov barely made an impact when it mattered most.
That is, until the Hurricanes faced a 3-0 deficit with 4:48 left in the third frame.
Defenseman Jaccob Slavin netted Carolina’s first goal of the game after Brind’Amour pulled Kochetkov, placing an extra attacker on the ice. Barely a minute later, Svechnikov scored his 20th point of the season to narrow Winnipeg’s lead to 3-2.
In true Hurricanes fashion, the final minutes of regulation were down to the wire after a double whammy from Slavin and Svechnikov. Canes fans were undoubtedly glued to their television screens when, with 38.3 seconds to go, center Martin Nečas notched the game-tying goal to send things into overtime. Whew.
And the game-tying tally.After how well the net-front presence had worked on the first two goals, why not just put another one on? Madness. pic.twitter.com/t9IxL1gsuy— Walt Ruff (@WaltRuff) November 22, 2022
Although Carolina’s momentum wouldn’t last for long — Winnipeg defenseman Josh Morrissey found himself wide open to put the game-winning goal past Kochetkov — three goals in 4:09 is nothing to sneeze at. Whatever sparked the Hurricanes to play at such a gritty, win-at-all-costs level for the last five minutes at Canada Life Centre eludes me. Let’s just hope they can utilize it against the Boston Bruins (17-2-0) this Friday.
“It was great how we kinda stayed with it, and we had the momentum,” Nečas said. “We gotta figure out the ways to win in overtime. … I think we’ve lost four or five times in overtime. Crazy, with the skill we have. We just gotta figure [that] out.”
Carolina will return to PNC Arena in Raleigh for a midweek matchup against the Arizona Coyotes. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.