Carolina held it together for long enough to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in this one, but this was a game they should have not been contesting. Twice holding a two-goal lead over their Metropolitan Division rivals, the Canes were determined to make this game closer than it needed to be. What’s annoying is that it didn’t need to be as close as it ended up being.
Through the first 30 minutes, Carolina dominated the game. A goal from the 4th line and a lucky goal go in off the Canes captain really started to quiet PPG Paints Arena down as the Canes were playing a perfect home game. But after a quick strike from the Penguins to get them on the board, the Hurricanes left Sidney Crosby all alone. That’s a recipe for disaster and by the end of the 2nd, it was a 2-2 game.
Luckily, the Carolina Hurricanes would set NHL history in this game. They would become the first team in NHL history to score less than 10 seconds into consecutive periods as they would regain the lead early in the third period. It was a night of fast starts for the Hurricanes. A powerplay goal later in the period would give the Canes a two-goal lead again. Despite conceding a 6-on-4 goal, it was decided.
Antti Raanta would claim win number 100 in his NHL career as he topped the Penguins. He was absolutely fantastic in this one. Big when the Canes needed him, denying some of the best talents in the NHL time and time again. It was a great performance and at one point, even the great Tripp Tracey confused him with the Canes starter because he looked so calm and collected. It was a very good performance from the netminder.
Carolina now sits at the top of the Metropolitan Division and they stand alone. They’re two points clear of the Pittsburgh Penguins after beating them, and they’re three points clear of the New York Rangers behind. Carolina has three games in hand on the Penguins and one on the Rangers and has now beaten both of their rivals for the Metropolitan Division title.