The Carolina Hurricanes allowed a late goal that forced overtime Saturday in Dallas, but the team kept up its shootout mastery with a win on a Vincent Trocheck goal in the final round. Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout to earn his first win of the season.
Jordan Martinook and Teuvo Teravainen scored their first goals of the season for Carolina, and Jordan Staal scored again for his fourth of the year. Carolina improved to 9-3-0 on the season, tied with Florida with 18 points for second in the Central Division.
1. The big news of the day was Carolina’s trade. The Hurricanes shipped Ryan Dzingel back to Ottawa in exchange for agitating fourth-line center Cedric Paquette and Alex Galchenyuk. Galchenyuk may never see the ice for Carolina, but Paquette solidifies the Hurricanes on the fourth line and also adds much-needed sandpaper to its lineup.
“I’m not a big fan of Cedric Paquette playing against him,” Hurricanes defenseman Jake Gardiner, who had two assists Saturday, said after the win. “So it’s usually a good sign for a teammate. To have a guy like that is gonna be huge for us.”
To paraphrase what Eric Lindros once said about playing on Team Canada with Brendan Shanahan and Claude Lemieux, “Any player I hate playing against I’d love to have as a teammate.” The Hurricanes will love the addition of Paquette — and their opponents will hate it.
2. The Hurricanes added a bit of the Lightning’s Stanley Cup pedigree with the addition of Paquette. They also, quite frankly, look a bit like Tampa Bay on the ice.
There are times when Carolina seems a step behind, as was the case much of Saturday, but the team’s quick-strike attack is reminiscent of the Lightning and what makes them so dangerous.
The Hurricanes were on the ropes in Dallas, heading into the game’s final 23 minutes with a 1-0 deficit and not much to be excited about. And then boom — three goals in under five minutes of game time. Two came at the end of the second, the other at the start of the third. While the Stars clawed back to tie it, as good teams will do, Carolina dominated overtime and then won in the shootout.
“We weren’t really clicking,” Gardiner said. “We were a little off. But good teams find a way to win. There was a shift that, I think it might have been (Steven) Lorentz’s line, got us going a little bit, got us some energy. And we got a few goals at the end of the second period that propelled us in this victory.”
The Lightning often seem like they’re toying with their opponents, picking their moments to take over a game. Carolina isn’t there yet, but there are flashes of that same swagger.
3. What a relief it must be for Teravainen and the Hurricanes for him to get his first goal of the year. It’s been a dreadful start to the 2020-21 season for Teravainen, who came into the game with just two assists in eight games and missed time with COVID-19.
Things were continuing to look down for Teravainen on Saturday when he failed to get the puck out of the Carolina zone, leading to the first goal of the game in the second period by Dallas’ Jason Dickinson.
But his fortunes — like that of the Hurricanes — seemed to change late in the period. Carolina got the equalizer at 17:29 of the middle frame on a redirection by Martinook, then Staal quickly drew a penalty while crashing the net.
Martin Necas — back after missing two games with an injury — made a perfect cross-ice pass to the back door that Teravainen wedged in just as the power play expired to give Carolina its first lead of the night.
“We want to get Turbo going,” Martinook said. “It’s just a matter of time. Obviously, with the COVID break … you’re just trying to get your timing back and feeling good. It’s definitely nice to see Turbo get one and hopefully there’ll be a lot more to come, and I have no doubt in my mind that will be the case.”
Number To Know
792 — Days since Carolina lost in a shootout. The last time the Hurricanes were beaten in the shootout was Dec. 14, 2018, Brind’Amour’s first season as coach. That one went six rounds, with Jakub Vrana scoring for the Capitals to win it after Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom and Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton each scored in the fourth round. Scott Darling was in net for the Hurricanes in the 6-5 loss, his final game with Carolina.
The Hurricanes have now won nine straight shootouts and are 3-0 this season.
They Said It
“It wasn’t our best game, but at the end of the day, we got the win. So it’s nice to leave here with four points, that’s for sure.”
— Jordan Martinook on sweeping the two games in Dallas before heading back to Raleigh for five straight home games.
Jake Gardiner, Hurricanes defenseman — The Gardiner Redemption Tour continues. The defenseman has found his place in the Carolina system and continues to contribute, specifically offensively.
He made a perfect feed to Martinook for his redirection goal to get Carolina on the board, then had a secondary assist on Teravainen’s goal. On a night when the Hurricanes were buried on possession, Gardiner was a team-best 68.2% Corsi For and also led Carolina in on-ice scoring chances with nine while also being on for just three Stars chances.
“Last year I think we were we weren’t on the same page, and I would say this year we are and we’re kind of reading off each other well,” Gardiner said. “It’s been a good start for the team and myself as well.”
Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes center — Aho was kicking himself late in the third period after his pass attempt to Teravainen with the Dallas net empty was deflected and led to the Stars’ tying goal with 40 seconds left.
Dallas defenseman Miro Heiskanen’s sweep check of the pass sent the Stars — up two skaters because goalie Jake Oettinger (18 saves) was on the bench for an extra attacker and Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov was in the penalty box — up the ice with numbers. Joe Pavelski’s shot from the top of the right circle beat Nedeljkovic’s glove cleanly, securing a point for the Stars.
The Hurricanes certainly could have used a save on the play — Nedeljkovic (26 saves) said he’d “like to have back” both of Dallas’ two goals in the final 12 minutes — but the opportunity doesn’t happen without the Aho turnover.