Andersen posts shutout, Hurricanes stay perfect with win over Bruins

Tony DeAngelo, Nino Niederreiter and Andrei Svechnikov scored for Carolina

Hurricanes goaltender Frederik Andersen posted his first shutout with Carolina in a 3-0 win over the Bruins on Thursday in Raleigh. (Chris Seward / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — Coming into Thursday’s game against the Bruins, it was hard to think of anything more Frederik Andersen could do that he hadn’t already done in his first five games with the Carolina Hurricanes.

He thought of a couple more.

Andersen made 33 saves for his first shutout with the Hurricanes and added a power play assist in Carolina’s 3-0 win over Boston in front of 16,093 at PNC Arena.

“He’s been a rock, for sure,” captain Jordan Staal said. “You’re not going to win that many games in a row without having great goaltending. But he’s everything that’s been advertised.”

But it was more than Andersen leading the way for Carolina. The Staal line outplayed Boston’s Perfection Line, and the Hurricanes again won the special teams battle.

The penalty kill was particularly effective, allowing just two shots on goal in a combined 80 seconds during two 5-on-3s.

“Those are real crucial moments, and we got a great effort by those guys that were out there,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Obviously, Freddie was great tonight. But the penalty killed, in those crucial times, stepped up.”

In an opening period played entirely at even strength, Carolina again scored first to put the pressure on their opponents.

Defenseman Brady Skjei passed to Tony DeAngelo for a one-timer, and the shot got through a Jesperi Kotkaniemi screen and past goalie Jeremy Swayman (21 saves) to make it 1-0 at 15:16 of the opening frame.

“I made too many turnovers with the puck, I didn’t love that. But yeah, confidence-wise it was nice,” DeAngelo said of his first goal with the Hurricanes. “It was a good bounce — lucky, to be honest. So it doesn’t do much for me. I gotta keep playing better.”

That’s been a theme from Brind’Amour throughout his team’s franchise-best 6-0-0 start — keep improving.

“Everything has to go your way too,” Brind’Amour said of the unbeaten start to the season. “Get a bounce here or there. … So that’s why it’s harder. There’s a lot of randomness.”

The most fortunate bounce came in the second period, and Nino Niederreiter was the beneficiary.

On the power play, Niederreiter received a pass on the left wing and rushed into the zone. His centering pass to Kotkaniemi deflected off Bruins defenseman Derek Forbort and went in the goal to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 advantage at 13:35 off the middle frame.

Andersen was even credited with an assist on the goal.

But it was what Andersen did in net that was again the story of the night. Andersen now boasts an otherworldly 1.33 goals-against average and .956 save percentage, and he also improved his regular season record against the Bruins to 13-3-0. He, like the Hurricanes, was knocked out of the postseason twice by the Bruins in recent years, making the win a little sweeter.

“The stakes are not as high, but I think you just worry about that one game, and that’s the game tonight,” Andersen said. “Everyone wants to beat the team across them, and obviously having some history just adds a little bit to it.”

The Hurricanes have made history of their own with their fast start, but there’s no time to celebrate. The Blackhawks are in Raleigh waiting to play Friday night at PNC Arena, and then the Coyotes come to town for a Sunday matinee.

“These games are tough because you play and then you’ve got to turn around and do it again and not having a letdown,” Brind’Amour said. “We haven’t had take-a-breath kind of thing yet, and that’s obviously a good sign. So I don’t want to see that tomorrow.”

Notes: Andrei Svechnikov scored an empty-net goal with 25 seconds left for his sixth goal of the season. Sebastian Aho received the secondary assist, pushing both players’ point streaks to six games.