This was a back and forth game that could have gone either way, but in the end, it was the Hurricanes that prevailed as their newest hero is Ian Cole fired home the overtime winner to ensure the Canes open the series with a win. It must be said that this was far from being a convincing performance for the team, but I don’t care if they don’t look great as long as they win.
When the Hurricanes sleepwalk through forty minutes as they did in the first period of this game, they’re going to get beaten more often than not. It’s only due to the sheer will of Antti Raanta that the Canes were able to keep this game close. They were still resting for the first forty and it was not good enough. It took some line blending and some chewing out in the locker room, but eventually, the team woke up and played like a division winner.
As I mentioned, this took some blending of the lines to correct. I have to praise Rod Brind’amour for his ability to realize what he wanted from his group wasn’t happening and that things needed to change in the third period. He got it absolutely spot on and the team looked inspired for the final twenty minutes in game one. I’ve criticized his loyalty to specific combinations in the past, but that was perfect from Rod.
Carolina’s ability to wake up in the third rescued them. New York outplayed the Canes for most of this game and they deserved to steal home ice in this series. Carolina cannot play like this as we get into the later parts of this series because they will not always be able to solve the Rangers as they did in that third period. You have to play 60 good minutes. Even if it’s not 100%, at least be competitive.