RALEIGH, N.C. – For the third time in a week, the Caniacs brought the noise for the boys.
Following an atrocious 6-0 loss on Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes picked up their weary bodies and damaged egos, returned home, and found another gear to top the Washington Capitals 5-2 in Game 6 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series on Monday.
It played to the script that the home team would earn the win and Carolina did just that – still without injured forwards Andrei Svechnikov and Micheal Ferland.
Capitals coach Todd Reirden expects Game 7 to be one full of momentum shifts.
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour added that it will be important to have the mindset to play like there’s no tomorrow.
That’s what you’ll see Wednesday night at Capital One Arena.
The place where Washington has played its best hockey, the same as what Carolina has done in Raleigh.
So how will the Hurricanes do it? How will they win on the road and break the trend?
Don’t make it easy
The mindset will have to be matched, even exceeded by the effort.
“You can’t go into a game thinking you aren’t gonna win because you won’t,” Brind’Amour said.
“We know how tough it is, being at home is a huge deal with the crowd there. You can feel it on the bench and you can feel the energy they give the players. But now we have to figure out how to bring it up there.”
Captain Justin Williams has never led on that anything during this series would come easy for this group against a team like the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“We’ve answered the bell,” he said.
“I said from the start of the series, they’re gonna knock us out. We’re not gonna do it easy. We’re not gonna let it be easy on them. Let’s go play another game.
“I’m not going to toot our horns too much here. We won a game that we had to. We expect to do that. We expect to win next game too. We’re gonna work our tails to make that happen. They’re champs – they’re tested, true. It’s gonna be a good game.”
Don’t let each other down
Jordan Martinook, coming back from injury put in his time to make the most of his opportunity to help his team win to fight another day.
He earned an assist on Dougie Hamilton’s empty net goal late in the game and dished out four hits despite not necessarily playing at 100%.
“You just look down the line and see how much everybody’s givin,“ Martinook said.
“I’m not going to let those guys down.”
When Brind’Amour saw Martinook out for warm-up, he knew he was going to play.
“There’s no way you’re keepin’ him out,” the coach said.
“He battled and he was a factor again tonight.”
It’s us or them
Brind’Amour credited the Capitals with their experience in playing Game 7 situations, but that won’t deter his team from believing that they can win away from home.
“There’s pressure on both sides,” Brind’Amour said.
“It’s fun, this is why you play, this is why we train. This is why the guys do what they do all year, and in the Summer – to have a chance, to have these opportunities. This is the chance to make something special to remember.”
For Mr. Game 7, Williams stated it simply: “It’s win or go home – it’s us or them. And now it was us, and now it’s on them. Anything can happen next game and we’re happy to be playing in it.”
When asked how Carolina will break the trend of home-ice advantage, he ended with, “We’re 0-3, so we’re due.”
Simple as that.