This was a game the Canes had needed. After a rough two weeks of playoff opponents, the Hurricanes were put up against the worst team in the NHL and it was quite simply everything we had come to expect from this team in the early part of the season. A very talented forward core, a cool as a cucumber netminder, and a pair of special teams that take the game to their opponent.
Let’s start with the netminder who shutout the Canadiens, Frederik Andersen. Andersen is going to be a Vezina finalist, and this game proved it. 32 saves in a winning effort making fantastic saves when the Carolina Hurricanes needed him most, he was right there being a brick wall. He did get some help from the post behind him, but sometimes you need a little help from your friends.
Carolina’s star center was the one to lead the way in this one. Sebastian Aho would rally the troops early after an absolutely picture-perfect tip from a point shot. Putting it just below the bar but inside the post is a very difficult talent, but Aho really hit the sweet spot as he was just a menace for 60 minutes. A two-point night for the Canes’ best forward was a big boost for the team. He also moved into joint-third all-time in goals in Hurricanes history.
Moving on to the other Finnish star on this team, Teuvo Teravainen. Teuvo has a bullet for a goal in the second that made it 3-0 and really started to put the game out of reach. He got an assist on the Aho goal in the first and received a beautiful feed from the other Ahovainen member as he tallied. Again, Carolina’s Finnish stars were essential to seeing the team through this game.
One more player I want to touch on is Andrei Svechnikov. His second goal of this game was his 200th career NHL point. I remember where I was the day Carolina won the draft lottery and moved up to pick up, but the big Russian is now a very mature player in the NHL, playing in his fourth season. Where has all that time gone? Either way, Svech was incredible tonight and had a two-goal performance.
Carolina’s top talents really controlled this game. It was a dominating performance over an inferior opponent and they got their rewards when shooting the puck. It’s great to see the big three all tally as each of them moves closer to the next milestone of the season. There’s a lot of good to take from a game like this, and obviously, you move on and prepare for Minnesota next up.