A Battle of Special Teams
Dallas came into the game with a league-leading 53.63% power play while Carolina sat at an 18.75% conversion rate. Common wisdom would dictate that the Hurricanes would be best served to avoid a special teams showdown.
As it turned out, Carolina was in full control at even-strength, on the power play, and shorthanded.
Trocheck’s second goal of the first period came while Klingberg sat in the box for interference. The second period, however, is where the Hurricanes really came to life. Andrei Svechnikov netted his 4th goal of the season on the man advantage; Ryan Dzingel popped in his 2nd of the year on a power play less than 2 minutes later. As the period came to a close, the Hurricanes carried a 4-0 lead.
Dallas eventually broke through with a power play tally from Joe Pavelski in the third but that would be it for the Stars as the Hurricanes cruised to a 4-1 victory.
Carrying the Play
The Hurricanes dictated the play for most of the game. While they seemed to take their foot off the gas in the third, they did everything required to win.
More importantly, they showed resilience. With 5 regulars out of the lineup and the loss of Mrazek and McCormick during the game, they could have folded. They were facing the defending Western Conference champions, off to a 4-0 start, facts they could have consoled themselves with.
Instead, the Hurricanes outshot the Stars and dominated the special teams aspect of the game. James Reimer came in and handled almost everything that Dallas threw at him. Jake Gardiner looked as comfortable as I’ve seen him since joining the team and the pairing of Bean with Haydn Fleury continued to impress me.
Saturday brought a well-deserved win for the Carolina Hurricanes, showed fans a team that will not bow to pressure, and saw Steven Lorentz pick up his first NHL point. Martin Necas—hot on the heels of his overtime winner against Tampa Bay—looked good and Svechnikov continued being, well, Svechnikov. And let us not overlook Sebastian Aho‘s play leading to the goal. Absolutely beautiful.
This is the Hurricanes team that we’ve been waiting for.