The Carolina Hurricanes traveled to Jaccob Slavin’s home state of Colorado to take on the league-leading Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche are 54-14-6 and have 114 points in the conference. The Hurricanes are third in the league with 104 points and a 48-19-8 record. The race for the metro crown is heading up as earlier in the day the Rangers were able to match the Hurricanes’ point total by defeating the Detroit Red Wings.
The last time these two met it was a defensive battle for the ages, which was surprising from two of the best offensive teams in the league. Ethan Bear had the game-winner late in the third period en route to a 2-0 victory.
Very early in the game, the teams traded powerplay opportunities early, and the Avalanche struck early after J.T Compher finished a nice passing play. Less than 5 minutes later Nathan Mackinnon poked home a loose puck after bad net-front defense from the Hurricanes, putting the Canes in a 2-0 hole early.
Andrei Svechnikov took a delay of a game penalty late in the first period, and as the second period opened the Avs were able to capitalize. Compher got his second of the night. Seconds later Ben Meyers scored his first career NHL goal to make it 4-0.
After a Canes’ timeout to try and stop the bleeding, the always efficient fourth line got the Hurricanes on the board after Jordan Staal redirected a Brady Skjei shot. Not too long after Jordan Staal got yet another deflection for his 16th goal of the year.
Alex Newhook then struck for the Avalanche to stop the Canes’ momentum and make it a 5-2 game. After an outstanding save on Jordan Martinook, Sebastian Aho was able to clean up the rebound to make it 5-3.
It looked like Mackinnon was about to get his second of the night on a 2-on-0, but Brady Skjei miraculously skated back to put a stop to it. Evident by the 6 goals scored between the teams, this period was extremely fun, especially the ending sequence where it became a track meet of sorts.
A miscommunication behind the net allowed Mikko Rantanen to sneak out in front and finish the pass to restore Colorado’s 3-goal lead and make it 6-3. The Canes powerplay that has been struggling mightily as of late finally got on the board courtesy of Svechnikov. Andrei is now a 30-goal scorer for the first time in his career.
Mackinnon banked a shot off of Tony DeAngelo to make it a 7-4 game. A Cale Makar knocked Jordan Staal out of the game on a thunderous hit. Late in the third period, Frederik Andersen was stung by a puck and also had to leave the game.
The Hurricanes looked very, very bad in a chaotic game. Overall it was a fun game but ended on a very sour note. Every Hurricanes fan will hold their breath and hope their captain as well as Vezina contending goaltender is okay. The Hurricanes are still first in the metro but are now tied with the Rangers in points, both teams have 6 left remaining on their schedule.
Three Stars (Canes Only):
3. Andrei Svechnikov (1 G)
2. Brady Skjei (1 A)
1. Jordan Staal (2 G)