In an intense game in an intense rivalry, the Carolina Hurricanes defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in a shootout win, which saw a big return of a new tradition.
In the first period of the game, the Carolina Hurricanes seemed to be reading and following all the keys to the game, they laid the body and they scored first. The tone was set early in the game with the Hurricanes showing physicality, especially a big hit from Andrei Svechnikov on Brendan Gallagher. Lucas Wallmark with the lone first period goal, on a rebound off Brett Pesce‘s shot.
The third key to the game was also fulfilled, by Martin Necas. A quick power play, especially one that succeeds. Necas scored his second career NHL goal, deflecting a heavy Dougie Hamilton one-timer. All night long, it seemed Necas was on a mission to prove to Carolina fans that it was no mistake to select him over Julien Gauthier, to have on the Opening Night roster.
After the Necas goal in the second period, it was all Montreal the rest of the period. The Canadiens would score three unanswered goals from Tomas Tatar, 2018 3rd overall pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi, and Jordan Weal. Montreal had almost silenced the Carolina crowd.
The new-comer from the trade with the Vegas Golden Knights in the offseason, Erik Haula gave Carolina life with burying a rebound from Hamilton’s shot, tying it at 3-3. The tying goal would be the lone goal in the third period, as it would force overtime. Overtime was when Montreal was rolling offensively, with tons of zone time but not many shots, all of which turned away by Petr Mrazek.
Dougie Hamilton went first in the shootout for the Hurricanes and scored first, doing his go-to move, forehand backhand multiple times to open up Carey Price. That would be the only goal in the shootout, as Mrazek would shut down Nick Suzuki.
The critics and big fans would come out last night, because the new tradition of the Hurricanes culture has returned and it’s the storm surge. Identical to their first surge they used in their third regular season game in the 2018-19 season, they did the skol clap and raced to the boards, with a full house cheering them on.
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All of the new-comers last night looked like they’ve been with the Hurricanes for years. It’s as if they’ve already adapted to the Carolina system of play, lots of credit can go to Rod Brind’Amour‘s excellent coaching. Haula had a goal, Necas had a goal, Dzingel had an assist, Jake Gardiner spent lots of time on the ice, and Joel Edmundson found lots of penalty-kill time that was successful.
It’s amazing how much things change when there is a deep-depth talented roster, because the marketing of the Hurricanes organization and fan passion has blown up. The Hurricanes are no longer a team that is widely underestimated, this team has been on many lists that saw them even finishing second in the Metropolitan Division, when it’s all said and done.
The Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes matchup is a fun one to watch. Last season, the Hurricanes won two out of three of the games, let’s hope the Hurricanes sweep the regular season series against Montreal. It’s a shame that we cannot see it again until New Year’s Eve in Raleigh again.
Question for Cardiac Cane Readers: Who was your favorite new Hurricane to watch last night?