The Carolina Hurricanes picked up their third win in four games on their Canadian tour as they blitzed the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 on Tuesday night.
The Carolina Hurricanes hit the prairies of Manitoba for a dose of familiarity. Both the Hurricanes and their hosts entered last night’s game with identical 20-11-2 records. The Jets were 6-4 in their last ten, as were the Hurricanes. On paper, it was a tight matchup and, for nearly half of the game, it was.
The teams traded chances early, only to find that Petr Mrazek and Connor Hellebuyck were up to the task. The game’s first power play went to the hosts as Jake Gardiner felt shame after a holding penalty at 13:44 of the first. As fate would have it, the Hurricanes suffocating penalty kill continued to dominate and yielded precious few chances to the Jets.
With the first period winding down, Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey took a delay of game penalty with just over 2 1/2 minutes left. The Hurricanes went to work, quick passes and constant movement on full display.
As the power play neared the halfway mark, Nino Niederreiter took a pass from Ryan Dzingel and powered the puck on net. It found its way a foot outside of the crease when Lucas Wallmark fired it past Hellebuyck, giving the Hurricanes a first period lead.
Not content to go into the intermission trailing at home, the Jets answered with Jack Roslovic tipping a shot from Nikolaj Ehlers past Mrazek with just 8 seconds remaining. Late period goals against are never good but, if the Hurricanes were fazed, they didn’t show it.
The floodgates opened in the second period. The Hurricanes generated opportunities, though the game remained tied until Teuvo Teravainen, noted hockey psychic, made a beautiful, no-look pass to Sebastian Aho who directed it into the net for a 2-1 lead. This was at the end of a sequence that featured a tenacious forecheck and a great play by Niederreiter to hold the zone.
What happened next was the continuing evolution of Andrei Svechnikov. Bear witness:
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Take a moment to let that soak in, because this one was even more impressive than the first. This move is heretofore known as “The Svechnikov” and I will die on that hill. 3-2 Hurricanes. Aho scored his second of the game just over 3 1/2 minutes later and Jordan Staal added a late power-play goal to give the visitors a 5-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
Laurent Brossoit took the crease in relief of Hellebuyck to start the third. The goaltending change did little to change the flow of the game and Staal potted his second of the game 3 minutes in to put the Hurricanes up 6-2. Mark Scheifele scored at the 12-minute mark to draw the Jets to within 3, but that’s as close as they would get.
As we bask in Svechnikov’s greatness, let’s take a look at 3 takeaways from last night’s contest.
1. “The Svechnikov”
There’s no doubt about the raw talent of Andrei Svechnikov. If you have any, give your head a shake. While the 19-year-old didn’t singlehandedly dominate last night’s game, he pulled a move (for the second time this season) that no one had ever done in the NHL. Both games were close when he pulled the move off and the Hurricanes looked nigh unstoppable after his goal against the Jets. The kid is good.
2. The Power Play
The Hurricanes went into last night’s game having scored 8 goals on the man advantage in their last 10 games and went 2 for 2 against Winnipeg. There’s no doubt the talent is there and we see what the team can do when they’re firing on all cylinders. As of today, the Hurricanes have the 5th best power play in the league at 24.3%.
3. “The Seer”
While Aho and Staal had 2 goals apiece and Mrazek did a great job of keeping the Hurricanes in the game, I just cannot shake Teravainen’s pass that set up Aho’s first goal. This is nothing new but his vision and hockey I.Q. are simply off the charts. He sees the ice incredibly well and the chemistry he has with his fellow Finn is uncanny. Take a look:
How good is Andrei Svechnikov? Sebastian Aho? Teuvo Teravainen’s hockey ESP?