RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes continued to lead the NHL following a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders at PNC Arena on Friday.
With their fifth straight win of this season (5-0-0), a franchise record, the Hurricanes also posted their fifth straight victory over the Islanders, at least since last postseason’s Eastern Conference second round when the Hurricanes swept the series between the two teams.
Led by a goal and an assist apiece from defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina’s 40-shot performance had coach Rod Brind’Amour praising his team’s effort and attitude.
“We knew it was gonna be a tough game, and the guys dug in,” Brind’Amour said.
“We had a couple of moments there on the penalty kill that we’d probably like to have back, but really all-in-all, it was a good effort by everybody in the group.”
Hamilton making all take notice
In posting his third multi-point game of the season, Hamilton took the strides necessary to create a turnover in the neutral zone and helped convert on a 2-on-1 with Teuvo Teravainen as the Finn opened the game’s scoring at 3:57 into the opening period.
With three goals and four assists to-date, Hamilton tied Mark Howe and Risto Siltanen for the most points by a Hurricanes/Whalers defenseman through the first five games of a season.
When asked what has been the impetus for the team’s winning start, Hamilton said, “It’s awesome – I think we’re just tryin’ to stay in the moment. That’s the biggest thing – not to try to get too high or too low.”
Svechnikov leading by feeding
Svechnikov now leads the Hurricanes in points – sitting with his lone goal, an empty netter, and seven assists.
Most notable against the Islanders was his feed from the left corner to defenseman Brett Pesce who beat Thomas Greiss stick-side to extend the ‘Canes lead to 2-0 at 14:42 mark of the first period.
“It was a great play by Svech,” Pesce said in describing the play.
“I kind of saw that they were a little scrambled, their forwards. I saw Svech got the puck, he rolled it around and he made a great play, and I found the net.”
Haula burying it
Eric Haula drove from the corner to Greiss’ left and was denied on a shot from in close, but stayed in position at the top of the crease and tucked away his fourth goal in five games.
Haula’s hard work gave Carolina the lead back at 3-2 at 15:09 of the second period after Johnny Boychuk’s power play goal evened it up earlier.
“It’s nice to play with the lead going into the third, so it was good,” Haula said.
“I set the bar high for myself and I have high expectations. I just try to go out there and do my part and try to chip in any way I can. I’ve got puck-luck and hopefully it continues.”
Notables: Carolina finished 0-2 on the power play, 5-17 (29.4%) overall…On the PK, the Hurricanes went 3-5, 18-24 (75%) overall…Teravainen played hist 205th consecutive game, tying Justin Williams for fifth-longest iron man streak in franchise history… Starting goaltender Petr Mrazek recorded his third win of the season and currently sits with 2.57 goals against average to go with an .822 save percentage…Forward Julien Gauthier, recalled from Charlotte (AHL) on Wednesday, made his NHL debut.
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