Peter Koutroumpis (pksport)
RALEIGH, NC – Icing a veteran-laden squad for the first preseason game of the year, the Carolina Hurricanes maintained the upper hand on the Tampa Bay Lightning for most of the night on Tuesday.
In front of a crowd of 12,345 on hand at PNC Arena, the Hurricanes put together a 5-1 winning effort fueled by a 46-21 shots-on-goal margin that was backed up by a 20-save finish from goaltender Frederik Andersen.
Five different scorers contributed to the win (Andrei Svechnikov, Paul Stastny, Sebastian Aho, Seth Jarvis, Malte Stromwall) with significant setup support from defenseman Dylan Coghlan (3a) and Jesperi Kotkaniemi (2a).
“I thought it was good; I mean we played hard; I thought it’s probably how it should look considering how the lineups were based on both teams,” Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
“It was a good first step.”
Both teams were scoreless after the opening period as Tampa Bay netminder Maxime Lagace managed to stop all 15 shots he faced.
Carolina didn’t let up during the final 40 minutes as the the power play kicked into gear.
Svechnikov opened the game’s scoring at 11:50 into the second with the man-advantage.
Stastny soon followed up with another power play tally four minutes later.
The Hurricanes carried that two-goal advantage into the third and quickly added two more from Aho and Jarvis during the first seven minutes of play.
While Vladislav Namestnikov eventually beat Andersen to claim the Lightning’s lone goal of the night, Stromwall completed the game’s scoring, and capped off Carolina’s 3-for-5 special teams production on the night.
For players like Stastny and Coghlan, making that first impression went a long way in keeping Brind’Amour’s attention.
“He’s a veteran player,” the coach said of Stastny.
“He knows how to play. Whatever situation you want to put him in, he gets it. He’s been there. So there’s a lot of comfort in that. He definitely knows how to play, that’s for sure.”
Coghlan’s performance backed up what Brind’Amour wanted to see from him.
“Physical, he’s got a good shot, all the things we kinda knew coming in,” he said.
“I thought he played well.”
Shaking the rust off in the crease
With Andersen making his first start since the regular season last year, being unable to play in the playoffs due to injury, seeing him make numerous saves involving multiple lateral crease slides without much concern was reassuring.
“Talk about the rust factor, like that’s probably a lot of rust in there,” Brind’Amour said.
“And it’s a confidence builder for the players – shake it off a little, get a little game kind of speed (for him).”
Notable: Seven players made their Hurricanes preseason debuts including Stastny, Coghlan, Stromwall, Anttoni Honka, Griffin Mendel, Alexander Pashin, and Lane Pederson. Four of those players joined the organization during the 2022 offseason, as Coghlan (VGK, 7/13) and Pederson (SJS, 7/13) were acquired via trade and Stastny (8/23) and Stromwall (7/15) each signed as free agents. Honka (2019, 3-83) and Pashin (2020, 7-199) were each drafted by Carolina, while Mendel signed an AHL contract with Chicago on 7/16 after finishing last season with the Wolves on an amateur tryout contract.
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