Carolina Hurricanes: Victor Rask and Chris Terry are Leading the Way

Mar 26, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Victor Rask (49) is congratulated by teammate Noah Hanifin (5) after his second period goal against the New York Islanders at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 26, 2016; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Victor Rask (49) is congratulated by teammate Noah Hanifin (5) after his second period goal against the New York Islanders at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Carolina Hurricanes escaped the week with a pair of wins, thanks to timely scoring from the likes of Victor Rask and Chris Terry.

Weekly Summary

This past week was a busy one for the Carolina Hurricanes. They played four games to an even record of 2-1-1. Anchored by the offensive production of Victor Rask and Chris Terry, Carolina performed respectably this week. Here’s how it all happened.

Back on Tuesday, the Buffalo Sabres were in town. The Sabres left PNC Arena with victory in probably the strangest game of the week. Buffalo took a first period lead which was answered by Christ Terry’s snipe on the rush. Noah Hanifin sprang him from his own zone beautifully.

Late in the 2nd period, chaos started to unravel. Jeff Skinner slashed Rasmus Ristolainen, and fellow Sabre Johan Larsson wasn’t too happy with the play and tried to scrap with Skinner. On his hands and knees, Skinner took punches to the head from Larsson. Despite not returning fire, Skinner was given a 10 minute misconduct on top of roughing and slashing penalties while Larsson recieved no such misconduct call. It was weird and potentially dangerous situation.

Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina Hurricanes /

Carolina Hurricanes

The ‘Canes managed to kill off the long powerplay and stormed into the lead. Joakim Nordstrom scored a magnificent spin-o-rama goal late in the third period. It would, however, be the Canes’ last lead. Evander Kane scored out in front right after. Seconds later, Skinner tried too hard to be a hero and turned the puck over in his own zone. Larsson scored the game winner, very cruel irony indeed. More so than anything else, this game was a learning experience for the young Hurricanes roster.

Instead of letting the loss keep them down, Carolina went to Columbus and won 3-2. Justin Faulk returned to the lineup for the first time in nearly a month. After getting out skated in the first two period, the Canes pocketed three quick goals in the third period and rode the lead to the final whistle. Goals were scored by Rask, Terry, and Elias Lindholm. Eddie Lack was also spectacular, stopping 44 shots en route to victory.

An unlucky deflection off of Jaccob Slavin’s chest was the difference between a shootout and an overtime loss on Saturday. Against the New York Islanders, the Hurricanes played to a 3-3 draw after 60 minutes. It was an ugly game with rough goaltending from Eddie Lack and garbage goals scored by Rask, Skinner, and Jay McClement for the Canes. Carolina looked poised to maybe win in regulation after a three-goal second period. Cal Clutterbuck scored 30 seconds into the third period to silence those hopes. Clutterbuck was then also credited with the overtime winner.

For the 15th time of the season, the Hurricanes lost in overtime. That now leads the NHL. On one hand, that’s a good stat compared to last season. The story of the previous campaign was the amount of one goal regulation losses. It’s good that Carolina is now collecting points where they weren’t before. However, that’s 15 points left on the table. If Carolina won seven of those overtime/shootout contests, they’d be in a playoff spot right now.

To close out the week, Carolina hosted the New Jersey Devils. The Devils, like the Hurricanes, are hanging on to their playoffs dreams for dear life. The game started incredibly well for Carolina. In the early stages of period two, the Hurricanes had a commanding 3-0 lead in the game. New Jersey then scored twice to make things interesting, but goalie Cam Ward shut the door in the third period to secure the Canes’ second win of the week.

Victor Rask had himself a day, scoring on the powerplay in the first period and on a breakaway in the second period. He now has 20 goals on the season and has quietly put together a wonderful season. Ron Hainsey put Carolina on the board first. He jumped into the slot and was fed with a superb pass from Jordan Staal.

Cane of the Week

Chris Terry – 4GP, 2G, 1A, +2

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets
NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Columbus Blue Jackets /

For both fair and unfair reasons, Chris Terry is labelled as a career AHLer, a guy who can put up points with the Charlotte Checkers, but one who never can replicate that form in the big leagues. The criticism is many times justified, but, this particular week, it isn’t.

Terry, whose contract runs out after the season, played like a man on a mission this week. After solid performances the previous week, coach Bill Peters experimented with Terry by letting him flank Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner. The 26 year old responded incredibly well, scoring two goals and not looking out of place next to Skinner and Rask. His performance just barely beat out his linemate Rask for Cane of the Week.

For a lot of Canes fans, Chris Terry is emblematic of everything wrong with the final Jim Rutherford years. Terry is clumped with the failed prospects like Zac Dalpe, Zach Boychuk, and Phillipe Paradis, but to go that far is a little unfair. Terry has managed to put up the most respectable numbers of the group over the course of his career and is battling hard to stay in the NHL with the Hurricanes right now. You can’t ask for much more from a player.

For more on Chris Terry, read our piece from earlier this week here.

Honorable Mentions: Victor Rask, Jeff Skinner, Jordan Staal

 

Next: Hurricanes are setting records, in overtime

The Forecast

Tuesday 7:00 pm @ Barclays Center against the New York Islanders

Thursday 7:00 pm @ PNC Arena against the Carolina Hurricanes

Saturday 7:00 pm @ PNC Arena against the Columbus Blue Jackets

Three games in the Metropolitan Division await the Hurricanes this week. First it’s a rematch from this last week. Carolina pays Brooklyn a visit on Tuesday. After losing in the dying embers of overtime on Saturday, look for Carolina to try and bounce back against the Isles.

Thursday is the biggest game of the week. It is the first return of Eric Staal to Raleigh since being traded before the deadline. Staal should be honored at some point during the game. It will be an emotional night. The captain comes home at last. Lastly, Columbus comes into town. Carolina has won the previous three meetings and can sweep the Jackets on Saturday.