RALEIGH — Andrei Svechnikov and Nino Niederreiter both scored twice to help the Hurricanes rally from a two-goal deficit and beat the Blackhawks 6-3 Tuesday at PNC Arena. Teuvo Teravainen and Martin Necas also scored for Carolina, which extended its point streak to 12 games and remained atop the NHL standings with only three regular season games remaining.
1. The first period of Tuesday’s game seemed like a Bizarro version of Monday’s game against the Blackhawks. Carolina had scored twice in the opening frame the night before and was never truly threatened in a 5-2 win. On Tuesday, it was Chicago that carried a two-goal lead into the first intermission.
“It was not pretty,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the opening 20 minutes.
Carolina shook off the disappointing first period after Brind’Amour let his team know it needed to be better.
“He expects greatness from us because he knows that we have a great group of players in there,” Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. “He comes in, and sometimes it’s not even words that have to be said. … We know that we had better, and Roddy’s just kind of giving you a little kick in the butt.”
So what, exactly, were the “couple words” Brind’Amour said?
“That’s going to stay in the locker room,” Svechnikov said. “It’s our secret.”
2. While the Hurricanes extended their point streak to 12 games and won their fifth straight, it wasn’t because of their power play. Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat scored his first of two goals when Carolina’s sloppy passing — by both Svechnikov and Sebastiab Aho — on an early 5-on-4 led to a shorthanded breakaway goal.
The Hurricanes then had a 5-on-3 advantage for 85 seconds when down a goal just past the game’s midway point, but the power play was stagnant and the best chance was a shorthanded one by the Blackhawks’ Pius Suter. That stop by Petr Mrazek (27 saves) kept the game within reach, but Carolina’s power play definitely had an off night.
3. The Hurricanes attempted two lacrosse goals in the game, and one even led to a goal — though in an unconventional way.
Morgan Geekie became the third player on the Hurricanes, along with Svechnikov and Martin Necas, to attempt the move this season, but he bobbled the puck while trying to elevate it. Geekie didn’t panic, quickly changing course and centering a pass to a charging Niederreiter for Carolina’s first goal.
“I saw it. It was great, actually,” said Svechnikov, who was the first player in NHL history to score on the move. “Sometimes it works. You fake it, and it was a nice pass by him to an empty net.”
Svechnikov later tried it himself, trying to score on the move for the third time in his career. But he was unable to execute it.
“I had the chance there, but I felt like the ice was pretty bad there,” he said. “I kind of picked it up, but there was D on the side so it was tough to score that one.”
Number To Know
6 — Goals against Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane was on the ice for in Tuesday’s loss. Kane had two assists but finished minus-4 for the fifth time, matching his career-worst. Dylan Strome was minus-5, the worst plus/minus of his career.
They Said It
“When he’s on, he’s pretty unstoppable.”
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour on Andrei Svechnikov
Andrei Svechnikov, Hurricanes forward — Svechnikov scored twice and had an assist, his second three-point game in the five games since Teravainen returned to the lineup. Svechnikov has points in all five, totaling two goals and seven assists in that stretch as the SAT Line has taken little time to regain its magic touch.
“They’re so skilled and they’re fast,” Slavin said of the trio. “So that makes it even harder. They’re not the biggest, not the most physical line. But their hockey sense is through the roof, and, obviously, their skill is with the best of them.”
Brind’Amour said Teravainen’s return has helped Svechnikov, and now the young Russian is rolling.
“When he picks it up a little bit, that confidence, you can see he’s feeling it again. So hopefully that continues.”
Brady Skjei, Hurricanes defenseman — Skjei was a game-time decision after he took two rough spills the night before. Both he and Jake Gardiner took the warm-ups, but Skjei was able to go. But the usually reliable defender looked off much of the night.
Skjei was unable to keep Mike Hardman from batting in the rebound of a MacKenzie Entwistle shot — Hardman’s first career goal — and he had a couple offensive zone pinches that led to Chicago odd-man chances. He was also called for hooking late in the opening period. But like the rest of the Hurricanes, Skjei settled in as the game went on, and he even had a key block later in the game.