The Carolina Hurricanes clinched the 2nd place spot (or higher) in the Discover Central Division last night with yet another commanding win over the Chicago Blackhawks. This guarantees the Canes home-ice advantage in the first round of the 2020-21 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs.
After going down early in the first period by 2 goals, the Canes bounced back in a big way, scoring twice in the 2nd period to tie the game up heading into the 3rd.
The 3rd period, from start to finish, was all Canes.
The Canes would score twice more in the first half of the 3rd period, bringing the scoreline to 4-2. Chicago would retaliate with what would be their final goal of the evening, before the Canes would score not once, but twice on the empty net, courtesy of Nino Niederreiter and Martin Necas, bringing the final score to a lopsided 6-3.
The Carolina Hurricanes had six (6) players with multi-point performances last night (including two almost hat-trick performances): Sebastian Aho (2a), Andrei Svechnikov (2g, 1a), Teuvo Teravainen (1g, 2a), Martin Necas (1g, 1a), Nino Niederreiter (2g), and Vincent Trocheck (2a).
The beloved “SAT” line is just starting to heat up just in time for the playoffs, combining for 8 points in total last night between the three superstars.
Petr Mrazek would walk away with the win, despite having arguably his shakiest game all season due to a mishap or two that resulted from his rebound control not being quite back up to par yet. Rod Brind’amour has stated that he has three goalies at his command, but has seemingly settled on running with a Mrazek/Nedeljkovic duo for the time being.
The Carolina Hurricanes’ goaltending has arguably never been in such capable hands; Nedeljkovic specifically could very well make an incredibly solid case for being the Canes’ starter going into and through the upcoming playoffs. That remains to be seen, but I’m sure whichever goaltender gets the call will be more than capable of carrying the Canes through a best-of-seven series against just about any team in the league these days.
The Canes will have a day of rest before taking on the Chicago Blackhawks at home for the final time this season. Tomorrow’s game will also be the Canes’ final home game of the regular season, but fret not: the Carolina Hurricanes, regardless of who they play in the first round of the 2020-21 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, will have home-ice advantage.