The Carolina Hurricanes shut out the LA Kings 2-0 in the season’s first installment of “Canes After Dark” of the 2019-20 season. Improve to 6-1-0 overall on the young season.
After suffering their first loss of the season Saturday night, the Carolina Hurricanes were looking for a bounce back effort against the LA Kings. In their first game of a three game California road trip the Hurricanes did just that, shutting out the Kings 2-0.
Going in to the game a few defenseman were on notable scoring streaks. Jaccob Slavin had points in five straight and Dougie Hamilton was on four game goal streak looking to become the first NHL D-man to score in five straight games since Mike Green in 2009.
Brian Gibbons also was primed to making his Hurricanes debut after signing a one year deal in the offseason. Other than Gibbons slotting in for Gauthier on the fourth line, the line up remained unchanged. Petr Mrazek, who was 3-0 entering the night, matched up in net against LA’s Jack Campbell.
For the most part the first period was relatively uneventful. The Hurricanes looked like a team that wanted to play a simple brand of road hockey, getting out of the period tied or better, and that’s exactly what they did.
The first real test for the Canes came just 1:42 into the game when Ryan Dzingel took an offensive zone slashing penalty. During the penalty kill Mrazek made a series of good saves against Kings’ forward Jeff Carter in tight to keep the game knotted at one.
Brock McGinn would continue the early season penalty trend, taking an interference penalty at 8:31 of the first. The Hurricanes would get their first chance on the power play at 12:53 of the first when Kings’ captain Anze Kopitar had a hooking infraction. The Sebastian Aho unit had a few looks but just couldn’t convert. Specifically, Nino Niederreiter had a few opportunities to score but is still unable to buy a goal right now.
They would end up getting another chance on the power play at 17:00 of the first when Alec Martinez took a holding penalty. The story was much of the same, the Aho unit had the better looks of two but just couldn’t find the back of the net.
The main story of period one was the play of Mrazek, who only faced a total of 32 shots in his past two starts combined. Seeing 17 shoots he was lights out and had a few good saves early on to keep the Canes in the game while they got their legs under them. The Hurricanes would finish the period with nine shots and won 65% of the faceoffs.
In a period full of talk about Taylor Swift and her so called jinxs on the Kings, the Hurricanes played much better and appeared to have finally gotten their sea legs under them. It took until 4:16 of the second before the Canes finally broke the ice and found the back of the net.
In a play that was started off by Erik Haula, rookie Martin Necas scored his second of the season off a beautiful feed from Dzingel about a minute after John and Trips’s comments on the Taylor Swift banner being covered up in the area.
A few seconds later they would get their power play of the night after Adrian Kempe took an offensive zone high stick penalty at 4:58 of the period. Unfortunately for the Canes, the power play was extremely uneventful to the point where they seemed to have lost all of the momentum they just generated moments before.
After a few good shifts from their third and fourth lines, the Canes would go back on the penalty kill after Lucas Wallmark took a tripping penalty at 13:16 of the second. Soon after, Drew Doughty would end up interfering with Aho, resulting in a four on four for 57 seconds.
Similar to the Tampa game earlier this season, the Hurricanes did a good job a limiting the Kings’ scoring chances in the second period. Keeping them to just three shots on goal Petr did not have any where near as large of a work load as his did in the first period.
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On the rare occasion he was tested, he continued to look sharp. The Hurricanes ended up once again with nine shots on goal and continued to dominate the faceoff dot, winning 63% of the draws.
Much like the first period, the third was rather uneventful. The Hurricanes looked like a team that was rather content with their 1-0 lead. The Haula, Dzingel, Necas line continued to impress, with the rookie showing a fair amount of improvement on the defensive side of the puck with each and every shift.
The Hurricanes took both of the penalties called in the third. The first being a holding penalty called on Brett Pesce at 14:12 of the period. During the kill the Canes held the Kings without and shot. With less than two minutes to go, Staal was called for a boarding penalty against Doughty.
With the goalie pulled for LA, Teuvo Teravainen scored an empty netter to ensure a Hurricanes victory on a play that was in large part thanks to the effort of Aho. It was later adjusted so that it was indeed Aho who was credited for the goal as the puck glanced off his skate for his second goal of the season, both on empty netters.
Petr earned his 19th career NHL shutout stopping all 31 shots on goal by the Kings. The Hurricanes finished the game 0 for 4 on the power play but were a perfect 5 for 5 on the PK. With 23 shots on goal, their 2-0 victory sees them improve to 6-1-0 on the young season.
Although both the streaks of Dougie and Slavin were snapped, the duo continued their elite play in the defensive zone, not giving the Kings’ forwards much time and space. These two teams won’t met next until January 11th, where the Canes with dawn their Whalers jerseys. The Canes are back in action in tonight against San Jose at 10:30pm est at the Shark Tank.
Question for CC Readers: What’d you think of the Hurricanes effort in their bounce back win over LA?