Carolina needed to take two points from the desert in what will be their final visit to Gila River Arena for a little while. It needed to be a game the Canes won regardless of the manor. At the end of the season, they don’t ask how but how many, so just get the two points and get home. Carolina did just that. This is not a performance you will see talked about in Canes lore, but it was good enough to do the job.
It was the makeshift third line that really carried the load in this one. Scoring three times outright, including the game-winning goal, that Nino Niederreiter – Max Domi – Jesper Fast line was excellent. This isn’t to say other lines weren’t good, but this line is showing it is capable of changing games for the Hurricanes and they’re going to need to do that once we get into the playoffs.
It was clear that the Hurricanes were the better team in this game which is something we have asked the team to do with themselves for a while. When they are the better team in a game, play like it. It wasn’t a game that the Hurricanes were not in any danger in, but it was a game that they put out of reach in the second period, despite trying to invite the Coyotes back into it. In the end, it doesn’t even matter.
Otherwise, this was an interesting game for Antti Raanta. The Finnish netminder has really been an afterthought for most of this season, yet the former Coyotes netminder was called upon to help shut the door against his former team. It wasn’t the toughest of nights for the Finnish shot-stopper, but he dealt with what he had to and helped the Canes out of some tight situations.