The once-proud franchise that is the Chicago Blackhawks has fallen on hard times both on and off the ice. Mired in controversy, the Blackhawks can’t get out of their way. Friday night, the Carolina Hurricanes took advantage of the struggling Blackhawks en route to their 7th straight win to start the year.
Antti Raanta made his Carolina Hurricanes debut against his former team and came away with a win thanks in large part to the three stars for the Hurricanes.
Three Stars of the game:
- 3rd star – Vincent Trocheck – two assists
- 2nd star – Sebastian Aho – one goal, one assist
- 1st star – Tony DeAngelo – one goal, two assists
Brandon Hagel opened the scoring up with his 1st goal of the year amidst a raucous Hurricanes crowd at PNC Arena. Tony DeAngelo would answer back for his new team with his 2nd goal of the year to tie the game at one apiece. Adam Gaudette would also get his 1st tally of the season to swing the momentum and lead back in the Blackhawks direction.
The scoring was far from over, thanks to Jordan Staal and his 2nd goal, Derek Stepan would score for the first time this season to follow up Staal’s goal, and to finish the fireworks display Jesperi Kotkaniemi tallied his 2nd goal of the year for his new team to extend the Canes lead to 4-2.
The Canes kept the foot on the gas in the 2nd period to help put the game out of reach. Sebastian Aho on the powerplay scored to give push the Hurricanes lead to 5-2 for his 5th goal of the year. Andrei Svechnikov would add his 7th goal on the young season as the Canes poured it on. In the 3rd period, Alex Debrincat scored for the Blackhawks to cut the lead to 6-3, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Canes won by that score to remain undefeated.
On a night where Raanta did not have his best stuff, DeAngelo was able to elevate his team with a big night and show the Canes faithful that he can produce for the team when called upon.
Despite the surprising number of players traded and not re-signed in the off-season, this new look Hurricanes team is impressing and picking up right where they left off last year in the regular season. The core is thriving, the new players are fitting in nicely, and despite all the off-season noise that there was, the culture Rod Brind’Amour created in Carolina continues to help them weather even the worst of storms.