RALEIGH, N.C. – As much as capturing detail up close is important, it’s the bigger picture that shows you the overall finished work.
After quickly falling behind, the Carolina Hurricanes pulled even and overtook the Florida Panthers and earned a 4-2 win in front of a near-capacity (18,159) crowd on Hockey Fights Cancer night at PNC Arena on Saturday.
Teuvo Teravainen played set-up man as the leading point-getter with three assists as Brett Pesce, Martin Necas, Dougie Hamilton, and Andre Svechnikov all netted goals to secure the win.
Goaltender Petr Mrazek made 21 saves to earn the win, the Hurricanes’ fifth in their last six games.
Coach Rod Brind’Amour was pleased with the effort following a tough 5-3 loss to Philadelphia just two days earlier.
“I thought it was probably a good game, start to finish, even though we got down, we were playin’ fine,” Brind’Amour said.
“I’m certainly not going to pick apart this game. That’s about as good a game as you’re gonna get. That was one of the best teams in the league. We didn’t give them much.”
Punch, counter punch
Scoring two goals in an 18-second span, the Panthers’ Aaron Ekblad and Brian Boyle beat Mrazek in almost identical fashion, finding open space to skate from the corner to his left and into the low slot.
Though falling behind early, Carolina quickly responded as Pesce’s blast beat Florida netminder Sergei Bobrovsky 41 seconds later.
“Get right back in it after we were down two, that was a big goal,” Brind’Amour said.
The Hurricanes proceeded to keep Bobrovsky busy throughout the game, outshooting the Panthers 35-23.
They tied the score 2-2 by the end of the opening period on Necas’ one-timer from the faceoff dot.
From that point on, with exceptional defensive play from Mrazek and all defensive pairs, Teravainen helped set up Hamilton’s eventual game-winning goal as well as getting a touch on Svechnikov’s empty-netter from just past the center line.
“I thought our D played exceptionally well,” Brind’Amour continued.
“That was really the difference. They really shut down the other team. We didn’t really give them too much.”
Necas feeling comfy
Scoring his sixth goal of the season to go with 10 assists Necas seems to be settling nicely into the NHL pace of play, and thriving over the past month, tallying 10 points (4g, 6a) in 11 games. He currently sits tied for third among all NHL rookies in both goals and points.
According to him, he’s more in tune with playing the North American style of game after one year in the American Hockey League (AHL).
“I got one year experience of this hockey here,” Necas said.
“The AHL – it was a good run in playoffs. You get more comfortable, more confidence, and then when you feel the coach trusts you, believe in you, then you can make some plays. Sometimes you gotta slow it down, sometimes you gotta skate faster. It’s all about reading those plays. Don’t get too horny (excited) on offense, don’t make many mistakes on defense.”
With his current pace of offensive output, the coach likes what he sees with more potential to be realized.
“He’s definitely comfortable now,” Brind’Amour said of the rookie forward.
“He’s still maturing physically and learning the game. He’s come a long, long ways for sure.”
Notables: Carolina finished 0-2 on the power play, 16-71 (22.5%) overall…On the PK, the Hurricanes went 2-2, 67-80 (83.8%) overall… Teravainen posted his team-leading 16th, 17th and 18th assists and has recorded at least a point in 18 of Carolina’s 23 games this season, posting 12 points in his last eight games… Hamilton reached 25 points (10g, 15a) and ranks first in goals, tied for second in points and tied for seventh in assists. Hamilton’s 10th goal placed him as the first defenseman in the NHL this season to reach 10 goals. The last Hurricanes/Whalers blueliner to become the first defenseman in the NHL to reach 10 goals in a season was Mark Howe back in 1979-80.
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