Defensive Unit Hold Philadelphia Tight Backed By PK

Carolina’s win over the Philadelphia Flyers was a testament to the defensive unit and their ability to suffocate puck movement. And newly returned Pyotr Kochetkov played very well at all points.

Mar 9, 2023; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov (52) stops Philadelphia Flyers left wing James van Riemsdyk (25) scoring attempt during the third period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Brent Burns was the only Cane from the defensive unit to register a point on an assist with Andre Svechnikov’s goal, but all three lines ended the night at zero. In fact, it is worth noting, that between the squad that hit the ice last night, there are only two players have been in the negative in the +/- column in the last five games, showing that mistake free hockey is the norm for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Most impressive about the win was how well the defensive unit was able to close off Philadelphia and stifle any real scoring opportunities. Mid way through the second period, Philadelphia had only 11 shots on goal and finished the night with only 19. Only a handful of times were the Flyers able to break away from their zone and cross the blue line with the advantage. When they did, the Hurricanes were able to cause mistakes in passing situations and create turnovers OR Pyotr Kochetkov was able to shut shots down at the net.

And shut down he did.

In his 4th shut out (and 5th of the year) in 19 NHL appearances, Kochetkov faced less than 5 break away shots with most of the 19 feeble scoring attempts from Philadelphia coming in traffic. Few that ten shots the whole night could be cataloged as high danger attempts. The 19 shots Kochetkov faced were the second fewest he has seen all year, and the fewest a Canes goalies has made in a shut out.

Carolina’s defensive unit did exactly what was needed to smother Philadelphia and keep the Flyers out of the offensive zone. Playing with little to lose and as dirty as ever the Flyers could have made a mess of Carolina. Still, the defensive unit backed by Pyotr Kochetkov did what they needed to win.