Don’t Bet Against Canes, Beat Vegas 6-3

Carolina Hurricanes dominate with a 6-3 win against the Golden Knights. Svechnikov’s return and a powerful second period seal victory.

The Carolina Hurricanes played their best 58 minutes and 30 seconds of the season, beating the defending Stanley Cup champions and this season’s top NHL team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, with 47 points. Anyone wearing a Canes sweater contributed in a big way to the 6-3 win. Everything was clicking for the Canes as special teams were, well, special. The powerplay went 3-for-3, while the penalty kill went 4-for-4.

Svechnikov Is Back, Scores PP Goal

Big news before the game was Andrei Svechnikov would be playing his first game since receiving a vicious, illegal, and intent-to-injure cross-check six games ago. Rod Brind’Amour started Svech on the 4th line to ease him back into game shape, but Svech knows only one way to play, and that’s full out. Rod had the 4th line start the game, surely knowing the Caniacs would be loud seeing #37 back on the ice. Jack Drury took the opening faceoff that had no clear winner, but Svech was the first to the puck, dumping it in deep into the Knights’ end, then beating the two defensemen to the puck behind the goal, sending a touch pass to Drury atop the crease.

However, Alex Pietrangelo made a good play, intercepting the puck, stopping the Canes from getting on the scoreboard with just seconds gone. On the next shift, both coaches had their first lines on the ice. Vegas had the puck in the Canes’ zone with movement going in every direction. Pyotr Kochetkov made his first impressive save off a quick tip-in attempt by Jack Eichel from a great pass from Mark Stone. Brett Burns manhandled Ivan Barbashev for the puck in the far corner, sending it to the neutral zone, allowing Stefan Noesen to send the puck deep into the Knights’ end. A little over midway in the period, the Canes got their first man advantage as Paul Cotter slashed Martin Necas. The Canes had the puck in the Knight’s end for well over a minute, with the defense showing a slight drop in speed.

The Canes kept the puck moving – Michael Bunting passing to Sebastian Aho, then up to Brady Skjei, back to Aho, who looked low then back up to Skjei. Skjei moved to the center, looked to the goal, back over to Aho but chose, wisely, to pass right to Svech all alone in the far faceoff circle. Svech cradled the pass, eyed the far corner, then sent a wrister an inch above the ice to net his second goal of the season. A quick look at the Canes bench saw everyone standing, slapping their stick on the sideboards as somehow they knew Mista Svechnikov was back.

Less than 3 minutes later, the Canes missed a clearing attempt in their end that proved costly as the Knights outfought the Canes for the puck, sending it to Brayden McNabb on the short left point. McNabb took a couple of short strides to the net, the shot was blocked by the mass of bodies in front, but William Carrier had positioning on Jaden Chatfield, grabbed the puck, stretched his stick, and wristed the puck in from 2’ out to tie the game.

Huge Second, Staal, Kotkaniemi, Bunting Get Goals

Vegas is a big team, really big. They have just one player under 6’, Jonathan Marchessault, who proves size doesn’t matter as he leads the team in goals with 15. Their defense could play in the NFL; they’re huge and, along with their talent and speed, good reasons opponents only scored 80 goals all season so far. Then along come the Canes, netting a season-high 6 goals. The Canes’ second period all but put the game away. Early in the period, the Knights dumped the puck deep for a line change, with Jordan Staal starting a clear from behind his own net.

Staal passed up to Burns, who surveyed the ice, passed to Jordan Martinook in front of the penalty box. Marty passed to Jesper Fast right at the blue line, held the puck for a second then saw Staal with a stride on his man, put a laser of a pass 70’ cross-ice, leading Staal for a beautiful tip-in to put the Canes up 2-1. Midway in the period, the second line was on the ice and was simply dominating the play. Chatfield had a shot blocked and appeared the Knights might clear the puck, but Michael Bunting applied pressure, forcing a turnover that Chatty got. Backing the puck up, Chatty then passed down to Bunting, who saw Jesperi Kotkaniemi open on the center point. KK took a shot that hit Chatty’s boot with KK snaring the loose puck, found room on the left, and sent a wrister in from 30’ out to pad the lead.

A quick 2-½ minutes later, the Canes were on the powerplay, passing at will. Fishy had the puck along the far half-boards, passed up to Burns top center. Burns looked to the net, saw way too many bodies and no opening, passed back to Fishy. Aho saw a sliver of an opening, took the shot that hit someone in front with Bunting first to the puck, stretched his arms, flipping the puck behind Logan Thompson for a commanding 4-1 lead on what became the game-winning goal. A completely solid and dominating period by every Canes player.

Jarvis Lethal On PP, Skjei Puts Great Steal Into A Goal

Right off the opening faceoff of the third period, Svech once again was fast to the puck. Former Canes player Patrick Roy accidentally got a stick high on Svech, drawing another Knight penalty. Just as the coaches had it planned on the whiteboard, Fishy won the draw, pulling it back to Burnsie. Burns quickly passed back to Fishy, who wasted no time in a gutsy long cross-ice pass to Bunting, who one-timed a shot. Thompson made a chest save that Seth Jarvis, once again, had perfect position out front to swipe the goal in with just 6 seconds gone in the penalty. The Canes’ defense added to their league-leading goal mark when Brady Skjei reached up high to intercept a clear, snared the puck, dropped it to his stick, took one stride, then sent a beauty of a wrister high glove side to close the Canes scoring, making it 6-1. Game over, or maybe not.

The Knights are Cup champions for playing a full 60 minutes. The Canes appeared to stop playing hard the last 90 seconds, maybe a self-preservation thing, but the Knights took advantage, knocking in 2 somewhat easy goals in that time span. Lesson learned to play the full 60 minutes, even if the game conclusion is not in doubt. Overall, a great 58-½ minutes over a very solid team.

The next home game is Saturday against the Islanders, who usually have a good following at the PNC Arena. Be there!

About Article Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *