The Offense Comes Alive as the Hurricanes Extinguish the Calgary Flames 7-2

Seven Hurricanes find the back of the net as the top line continues their hot stretch to lead a dominant win, completing the weekend back-to-back.

Mar 10, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (31)
Mar 10, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

After a big win in New Jersey on Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes returned to PNC Arena to begin a quick homestand against the Calgary Flames. It was PNC Arena's first chance to see Evgeny Kuznetsov in the home threads after being acquired on Friday at the deadline. The Flames, who also played on Saturday, were looking to pull off a big road victory to better their placement in the Western Conference Wild Card picture.

Before the game, Rod Brind'Amour announced that Jack Drury would miss the game with a lower-body injury, allowing Brendan Lemieux to return to the lineup for his 300th NHL game. Frederik Andersen was back in the net three days after making his return in the team's win over Montreal. With Calgary's #1 goalie, Jacob Markstrom, starting against Florida on Saturday, Dan Vladar took the start for the Flames.

We've seen some dominant periods from the Hurricanes this season. The first period of this one might be near the top. It felt like the entire period was spent in the offensive zone. They scored a couple of goals, too. On a partial line change, Sebastian Aho and Jordan Martinook took on two Flames in transition. Aho faked a shot before skating down and finding Martinook for an easy goal to get things going.

Late in the period, Aho was on the receiving end of a great passing play. Brayden Pachal misplayed the puck off the boards, allowing Aho and Teuvo Teravainen to play catch. Aho finished the play at the top of the crease to extend the lead. The Canes finished the period with a 16-2 shot advantage and a 2-0 lead where it mattered most.

The dominance continued into the second period. Jalen Chatfield wired a shot from the point 17 seconds into the period past Dan Vladar to make it 3-0. Andrei Svechnikov would make it 4-0 less than a minute later, finishing a 2-on-1 with Sebastian Aho and forcing the Flames to call their timeout. As if things couldn't get better for the Canes, Brendan Lemieux dropped the gloves with Brayden Pachal and dominated him in a quick bout.

The Flames showed signs of life after the fight, getting a goal from Dryden Hunt a little over four minutes into the period to cut into the Canes' lead. They started to get some sustained pressure throughout the period but couldn't get another one past Frederik Andersen. To add insult to injury, Andersen made an incredible paddle stop on Mikael Backlund late in the period to keep it a 4-1 game.

The Hurricanes finished the period almost as hot as they started it. After a clean face-off win by Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Brent Burns blasted a one-timer past Dan Vladar to restore the four-goal lead. With the primary assist on the goal, Jaccob Slavin broke his tie with Justin Faulk as the franchise leader in points by a defenseman. In the final minute of the period, Seth Jarvis joined the fun. He snapped one from the slot with 33.9 seconds left to reach 20 goals for the first time in his career.

With the lead at five goals beginning the third period, things looked to be well in the Canes' control. Frederik Andersen, who hadn't been challenged much through two periods, had a tiny slip-up early in the period, fanning on a pass as it went to Yegor Sharangovich with a wide-open net to make it 6-2. Teuvo Teravainen would get it back at the end of the game, knocking one out of mid-air to help the Canes put the exclamation point on a 7-2 victory.

Top to bottom, this was an impressive victory for the Hurricanes. Ten players found the scoresheet, and seven of them had multi-point games. The Aho line combined for nine more points, with Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Teuvo Teravainen recording a goal and two assists. They now have combined for 24 points in four games in March. Along with scoring his 20th goal, Seth Jarvis added an assist, giving him his first 50-point season. His line with Jordan Staal and Jordan Martinook combined for five points. Jesperi Kotkaniemi also added two assists after scoring in New Jersey.

The defense was also very active. Three of the six defensemen had points, led by Jalen Chatfield's two-point effort. He and Dmitry Orlov finished at +4 for the contest. There was no weak pair for the Hurricanes. All three groups showcased themselves well. Outside of one mishap that led to a goal, Frederik Andersen has looked great in two starts since returning to the lineup. He didn't have much to worry about for most of the evening, but he came up with the stops on a few high-danger chances.

The week ahead for the Hurricanes is a grueling one. It's a busy four-game week, with games against three of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. It begins on Tuesday night when the New York Rangers make their only visit to Raleigh during the regular season. Their last meeting to kick off 2024 at Madison Square Garden was a one-sided effort in the Canes' favor. Depending on how the Rangers fare against the Devils on Monday, the Canes could be going for a tie atop the division.

On Thursday, the Florida Panthers will return to Raleigh. It was only three weeks ago when the Canes beat the Panthers 1-0 at PNC Arena to snap their long road winning streak. They'll have another back-to-back next weekend, traveling to Canada to face the Maple Leafs and Senators on Saturday and Sunday. We may see Jake Guentzel make his team debut during this stretch, though it's uncertain when that will be.