#21: April 4, 2019- Nino Niederreiter gets the Canes back to the playoffs
With two games left in the regular season, there was a feeling of excitement as the playoff drought felt destined to end. After nearly a decade, the Carolina Hurricanes were on the verge of postseason hockey. All they needed to do was win a game. The Canes didn’t give an inch after the New Jersey Devils scored the game’s first goal. Warren Foegele got the goal back in the first period. In the second period, Justin Faulk gave the Canes the lead on the power play. The reason Nino Niederreiter’s goal is the one I’m choosing to highlight is that it accomplished two big things. First, it provided a cushion. Second, it just made you feel like it was actually about to happen. I know the Canes would win their season finale, which also would’ve clinched a spot, but it led to many awesome moments, including the greatest bench interview moment ever.
#20: May 18, 2022- Sebastian Aho breaks the tie against New York
With each passing season, Sebastian Aho continues to re-write the franchise history books, especially with his play in the postseason. After the Canes and the Rangers competed in tough seven-game series to begin the 2022 postseason, Game 1 felt crucial. The Rangers held the advantage for most of the game, with Igor Shesterkin stopping everything. However, the cracks started to show, especially after Aho and Nino Niederreiter hit iron in the third period. Never one to give up, Aho would finally beat Shesterkin with 2:23 left in regulation, picking up his own rebound in the crease. Game 1 would go to the Hurricanes after Ian Cole’s shot deflected into the net off a defender. The only thing keeping this lower is the result of the series, as the Rangers would prevail in seven games. In that moment, this goal was fantastic, finally giving the Caniacs something to cheer about after a challenging opening game.