RALEIGH — Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour has said he would allow his young players to make — and learn from — their mistakes.
There were plenty of mistakes Sunday from two young teams, but Carolina — playing four rookies — reaped the rewards of their coach’s patience.
Andrei Svechnikov scored his first goal, the game-winner, Warren Foegele scored twice, Lucas Wallmark notched his second NHL goal and Martin Necas registered his first point with Carolina in a wild 8-5 win over the Rangers in front of 13,526 at PNC Arena.
“We’re making mistakes that we just shouldn’t be making. But like I said, I think there’s a quiet confidence going on that no matter what happens we can come back,” Brind’Amour said. “And that’s a good feeling. We have a lot of good players, and that’s what makes you feel that way.”
The Hurricanes needed that resolve after the Rangers (0-3) jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first 6:02 on goals by Jimmy Vesey — just 49 seconds in — and Chris Kreider. Foegele and Jordan Martinook erased the deficit, but it would prove to be the first of four times Carolina trailed. And with each Rangers go-ahead goal, the Hurricanes had an answer.
“There was a lot of adversity there tonight,” said Foegele, who has now scored four goals in his first five NHL games. “And it’s just the belief in this dressing room and belief on the bench that we’re down a goal, just keep trucking away, keep playing aggressive, playing hard and good things will happen.”
The more adversity Carolina (2-0-1) ran into — Vesey’s second goal, answered by a Jordan Staal breakaway; Pavel Bushnevich collecting a rebound off the post for the Rangers’ fourth goal, countered by a Micheal Ferland floating wrister 31 seconds before the second intermission — the stronger the Hurricanes responded.
“Maybe they don’t know any better,” Brind’Amour offered. “But I just like that they just kept digging in.”
While it was a night to forget for goalies Petr Mrazek and Alexandar Georgiev, it was one that will be forever remembered by Svechnikov.
After the teams traded goals again, with Kreider notching his second of the night and Wallmark matching him with his second career goal to make it 5-5, the Hurricanes finally took control.
Defenseman Justin Faulk fired a shot for the right point and Svechnikov, with a quick turn of his wrist, redirected the shot into the glove-side corner for his first NHL goal.
The 18-year-old, who has the physique of a longtime pro, looked every bit the teenager in describing his first goal, which proved to be the game-winner.
“I waited for this for my whole life. It’s my dream, and my dream came true,” he said.
The fourth line of Wallmark centering Martinook and Svechnikov combined for five points, and Wallmark said the trio is already building a rapport by following Brind’Amour’s creed of all-out effort.
“I think our line, we just try to work pretty hard out there,” Wallmark said. “We created a lot of chances, too, and it feels like we have a good chemistry. But everything starts for us with hard work and good forecheck. We have to keep doing that. It’s a process. We have to keep working every game, the same way we’re doing right now.”
And the mistakes? Those serve as teaching points, not future punishments.
“We play with a confidence out there,” Wallmark added. “Sometimes we’re going to do a mistake, but they always support us, the coaches, and give us feedback and still allow us to try out there.
“It’s really fun to play.”
Notes: Calvin de Haan took two penalties but finished a plus-5. … Phil Di Giuseppe played while Valentin Zykov was scratched. Di Giuseppe was minus-2 with one shot and four hits. … Jaccob Slavin finished with six blocked shots. … Mrazek, who allowed five goals on 24 shots, earned his first win with the Hurricanes.