Carolina shut it down in the third
It’s uncanny how good Carolina becomes in the third period of a game. They’re relatively mediocre in the first, they get stronger in the second, but as soon as the puck drops for the third period, they become absolutely elite. It’s like the red mist descends and they play with a purpose that they otherwise don’t have. It’s a different level of danger when it comes to the Canes in the third.
After allowing only six goals in the third period through 16 games, it’s easy to see why the Canes are 14-2 on the year. Carolina’s back end is just good enough to beat teams in closely fought games. Shutting it down in crunch time makes it easier for the team to win games. When your defense can close games out with relative ease in the tough times.
When the Carolina Hurricanes can put games out of reach due to their fantastic defensive style, it makes it easier to win games. It’s difficult when you have to contend with the third-period collapses, but Carolina’s ability to settle into a game the longer it goes on makes it easier for them in the third, and it makes them almost impossible to beat in overtime too.
Obviously, Carolina’s progressive settlements into the game allow them to dominate when the game is on the line, and it means that they can escape with two points when they really shouldn’t. It’s the hallmark of a good team to win games when the Canes can do this. They have the ability to turn it on when the time is right, and it helped them again today against LA.