As the Resting of Regulars Begins, the Canes Extend Their Win Streak in St. Louis

Morrow makes his NHL debut as four starters get the night off in a 5-2 victory over the Blues behind another sensational start by Andersen.
Apr 12, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA;  Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (31)
Apr 12, 2024; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The first stop of the Carolina Hurricanes' season-ending trip on Tuesday night was a successful one as they took down the Boston Bruins 4-1. After a short trip home, they journeyed to St. Louis to battle a desperate Blues team. With their playoff hopes holding on by a thread, the Blues needed two points to keep their chance alive.

The big story coming into the night was the NHL debut of Scott Morrow, who just signed with the team last week after three seasons at UMass. He joined Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Tony DeAngelo, and Brendan Lemieux in the lineup, as Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen, Jalen Chatfield, and Brett Pesce had the night off. Frederik Andersen took the net for the Hurricanes, battling Jordan Binnington for the Blues.

The first period was very back and forth, but the highlight of the night came courtesy of Frederik Andersen's glove. The Hurricanes didn't play a great opening period, but their goaltender was on his A-game. After having his initial shot stopped, Zach Dean tried to snap one past a diving Andersen. Instead, Andersen stretched his glove out to make an incredible stop to prevent what looked like a sure goal. While there have been plenty of incredible stops this season from Carolina's netminders, this is easily the best.

Unfortunately, Frederik Andersen couldn't stop everything. Robert Thomas and Nick Leddy made excellent plays to help set up Zach Bolduc for a one-timer late in the period to get St. Louis on the board first. The response would be swift from Jordan Martinook. After scoring a hat trick against the Blues last season, Martinook added another, beating Jordan Binnington between his pads less than 90 seconds later to tie the game before the break.

The Hurricanes' penalty had a rare slip-up early in the second period after Brendan Lemieux sat for tripping. Jordan Kyrou snapped a shot from the right dot past Frederik Andersen, with Brayden Schenn providing excellent net-front pressure. Once again, the Canes would find an answer soon after. Seth Jarvis, fresh off scoring his 30th goal on Tuesday, snapped one past Jordan Binnington less than three minutes later to knot it up again. The Canes finished the period with a 19-6 edge in shots, but the score remained 2-2.

A 4-on-4 sequence would prove to be the difference in the game for the Hurricanes. Stefan Noesen took a holding penalty, but Jaccob Slavin was caught by an errant stick 32 seconds into the kill, setting up 4-on-4 hockey. A little over a minute later, Slavin would give the Canes their first lead. Tony DeAngelo made a great play to get the puck to Sebastian Aho, who sent it to Slavin between Jordan Kyrou's legs. Slavin didn't get much on it, but he got just enough to get it into the net.

Frederik Andersen was excellent the rest of the way. St. Louis pushed to find the tying goal, sending Jordan Binnington to the bench with 2:50 left. Jake Guentzel made a great individual effort to strip the puck before scoring into the empty net. He would do it again with less than a minute left to score his 30th goal of the season as the Hurricanes earned a 5-2 victory for their fourth straight win.

For a player fresh out of college, Scott Morrow held his own in his debut. He only played 13:35 in his first game, but he recorded three shots and was on the ice for Jordan Martinook's goal in the first period. Morrow didn't look out of place on the ice, playing alongside Dmitry Orlov on the third defensive pairing. I'm sure we'll see him again in the final two games as he tries to get acclimated to the pace of the NHL.

While it might not have been the hottest start for the group, the second half of the night was all Carolina. Even in the small moments that the Blues dominated, Frederik Andersen was there to keep them silent. Right before the game-winning goal, Andersen made a save on Brandon Saad to keep it tied. Andersen also earned a secondary assist on Seth Jarvis' tying goal in the second period. He stood his ground all night, leading to his 13th win of the season.

The Hurricanes who came into the night with hot streaks continued their scorching ways in St. Louis. Jake Guentzel extended his point streak to seven games with his empty-net tallies. Brady Skjei has assists in five straight games after providing the primary helper on Seth Jarvis' goal. Jaccob Slavin has points in four straight, including multi-point nights in three of the four. Andrei Svechnikov has points in three straight games after setting up Jordan Martinook's goal. He also eclipsed 50 points with his helper.

With the win, the Hurricanes picked up points #108 and #109, putting them within one point of the New York Rangers for the division crown while also pulling into a tie with the Dallas Stars for second behind the Rangers for the President's Trophy. The Canes got some help from the Flyers on Thursday night after they went into Madison Square Garden and beat New York 4-1. If the Canes don't take over the top spot, it has become more likely that they'll face another New York team, meeting the Islanders for the second straight season in the first round.

I'd anticipate we'll see more regulars get a night off when the Hurricanes travel to Chicago to face the Blackhawks on Sunday night. While nothing is certain, it might mean a first look at Bradly Nadeau or Jackson Blake in the NHL. If not on Sunday, it could come during the team's regular-season finale on Tuesday in Columbus.