Peter Koutroumpis – @pksport
RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes posted a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils at PNC Arena on Saturday.
They hung on and staved off the tenacious Devils thanks to a 24-save performance from goaltender Antti Raanta who recorded his sixth win of the season.
The Canes earned the advantage on goals from Jordan Martinook and Andrei Svechnikov in the first, and maintained their 2-1 margin for the rest of the game.
Jesper Boqvist tallied the lone marker for New Jersey.
Get by with a little help from my friends
“It’s been a lot hard work, and it’s great to be rewarded on the game,” Raantaa said following his first start since Jan. 1 – missing three games due to an upper-body injury.
“Nice to make a couple of big saves in the second period, and in the third period we played really well. The guys helped me out a lot.”
Despite being outshot by the Devils 22-13 after two periods, Carolina hovered around New Jersey netminder Jon Gillies, who did his part and made 21 saves, including 10 in the third, to keep his team in contention the entire 60 minutes.
Whale of a time
It wasn’t a pretty win for the Canes, but it was one that provided a lot of excitement and fun for the fans, both on and off the ice.
A packed house was treated to eye-catching retro green Hartford Whalers uniforms worn by the players, throwback 80s and 90s music classics permeating the upper levels of the arena, and the baritone notes of Brass Bonanza following each Canes goal.
It was great cover for what otherwise seemed a tough and monotonous battle between two teams vying for two points in the standings.
Thanks to Raanta, Carolina claimed both points, and extended its record to 30-9-2 at the midpoint of the season.
“He was the difference,” Canes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said of Raanta.
“Key saves at real big times. We weren’t at our best. The other team was really comin’ at us there for a little while and he kept us in the game…The third (period) was great – the play was elite. It wasn’t a great first couple of periods, but give the guys a lot of credit, when the game was on the line, they turned it up.”
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