Peter Koutroumpis (pksport)
RALEIGH, NC – It didn’t take long for Brent Burns to make an impression at PNC Arena on Saturday.
The former Norris trophy winner tallied two goals, the first and last of the game and led the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 preseason win over the Florida Panthers.
Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas also added goals, while Frederik Andersen made seven saves to earn the win.
At the other end, Florida goalie, Spencer Knight kept busy, and faced 47 total shots from Burns and company.
Unbeaten and rolling early
The Hurricanes are still unbeaten after playing three games this week with the roster currently trimmed down to 43 players.
Through those three preseason games – including a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday, and a 5-2 win over Florida in Sunrise on Thursday – 24 of 37 healthy skaters still on the Hurricanes’ training camp roster have posted a point, and Carolina’s 14 goals have come from 12 different scorers.
A veteran-heavy set of lineups has shown that experienced newcomers as well as prospects are benefitting from playing with one another at camp.
“We played three games – forget the score, I’ve just been happy how we played them,” head coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
“I think it’s it’s important for everybody to get back into things and getting the routine set and just figuring things out, “Burns added.
“I mean, it’s important that you always want to win. It’s important to grind things out and, you know, stick with what we want to do. And now as far as fun, you get to see, see the guys from this side of it. A lot of skill, but the skill works hard. So I think that’s the biggest thing is we’re got a lot of guys who work hard. It was fun to be a part of.”
Burns sniped his point shot through traffic and past Knight to put Carolina up 1-0 at the 6:12 mark of the first period.
Svechnikov scored just over five minutes later and the Hurricanes carried a two-goal margin into the first intermission.
With his team outshooting the Panthers 12-2, Andersen had little work, and he nor his teammates handled defensive responsibilities well during the opening 10 minutes of the second period.
Florida put three pucks past him and took a 3-2 lead by the midpoint of the frame as former Hurricanes second round pick, Zac Dalpe scored on the power play at the 9:16 mark.
By that time, Florida had taken just five shots on goal.
Fortunately for the 14,843 in attendance, Necas evened the score with 5:16 to go in the period.
Still dominating puck possession and peppering Knight with 28 shots after 40 minutes, the Carolina shooting barrage continued in the third.
It only took one shot out of 19, a rather simple slider towards the crease by Burns that banked off a skate and into the Panthers net that became the eventual game-winner at the 9:00 mark.
“I tried to aim there,” Burns said in describing the goal.
“I was trying to hit Staalsy (Jordan Staal) back door. I’ll take them, but that’s definitely not what I wrote out (meant to do) there.”
Notable: The team announced earlier that defenseman Calvin de Haan signed a one-year contract after entering training camp on a professional tryout contract (PTO). He previously played 74 games with the Hurricanes in 2018-19, posted 14 points (1g, 13a) and led all blueliners with 187 hits. De Haan has posted 119 points (19g, 100a) in 520 career NHL games with the New York Islanders, Carolina, and most recently the Chicago Blackhawks. “I know, this team’s got a championships on their mind,” he said. “I’m on the the older side of hockey age now, so I want a chance to win. And I think this team’s got a good opportunity, and at the same time, I think I can help and be a part of this team.”
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