Carolina Hurricanes: 3 keys to victory vs. Blue Jackets

RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 30: Joakim Nordstrom #42 of the Carolina Hurricanes battles for a loose puck along the boards with David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game on March 30, 2017 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - MARCH 30: Joakim Nordstrom #42 of the Carolina Hurricanes battles for a loose puck along the boards with David Savard #58 of the Columbus Blue Jackets during an NHL game on March 30, 2017 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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RALEIGH, NC – OCTOBER 7: Jaccob Slavin #74 of the Carolina Hurricanes lifts the puck over a sprawling Alex Stalock #32 of the Minnesota Wild during the shootout of an NHL game on October 7, 2017 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC – OCTOBER 7: Jaccob Slavin #74 of the Carolina Hurricanes lifts the puck over a sprawling Alex Stalock #32 of the Minnesota Wild during the shootout of an NHL game on October 7, 2017 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /

2. Contributions from the blue line on offense

One of Carolina’s four goals against the Wild came from defenseman Noah Hanifin. The depth that the Canes have on defense is one of the best parts of this team as well. If players like Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Haydn Fleury, etc. can continue to provide a spark on offense, this team will be successful.

Slavin sealed the shootout win for the Canes against the Wild on a very nice backhand deke around Stalock. It was the only goal scored by either team in the shootout as Darling came up huge, shutting down Minnesota on three chances.

While Hanifin notched the only point of any Carolina defenseman in the season opener, Fleury and Slavin helped apply pressure the entire game. Slavin also made a nice move to setup that goal that Hanifin scored.

Brett Pesce was also a +2 in that contest. We’ll see what happens with newly acquired defender Trevor van Riemsdyk as he left the Wild game with an undisclosed injury. According to reports, van Riemsdyk was not back at practice on Oct. 9.