For the second straight game, the Carolina Hurricanes had to kill off a five-minute major penalty. And for the second straight game, they came away even on the scoreboard despite the prolonged penalty killing.
The Hurricanes overcame Ian Cole’s third period kneeing penalty and misconduct, limiting the Jets to just two shots on goal during the major and maintaining their two-goal lead to start their five-game road trip with a 4-2 win in Winnipeg.
“They get one (goal), they get momentum — who knows what happens?” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of his team killing off Cole’s major. “But we didn’t give them anything.”
The Hurricanes had again dominated play at even strength, outshooting Winnipeg 34-16 and, according to NaturalStatTrick.com, holding a 15-1 advantage in high-danger scoring chances at 5-on-5.
It was the Hurricanes’ special teams that proved most important.
Before the shorthanded heroics — Cole was penalized after he led with his knee on an open-ice hit on Jets center Mark Scheifele — Carolina scored twice on the power play to pull away from the Jets.
After Vincent Trocheck drew a cross checking penalty on Winnipeg defenseman Josh Morrissey, the Hurricanes’ second power play unit converted. Martin Necas got his sixth goal of the year on a scrum in front of the Jets crease with just 20 seconds left in the second period to put Carolina ahead 3-2.
Then at 3:04 of the third period, Trocheck — who snapped an eight-game point drought against Buffalo on Saturday with a goal and an assist — also got his sixth of the year when he cleaned up a Jaccob Slavin point shot to give the Hurricanes a two-goal cushion.
Trocheck’s goal, however, wasn’t the nail in the coffin it seemed after Cole was handed his major at 7:30 of the third. It was the second straight game a Hurricanes player had received a major penalty — Trocheck was called for one against Buffalo — giving the Jets five full minutes to score as many times as they could while up a man.
Carolina’s penalty kill had other thoughts, holding the Jets to just two shots to shut the door on any comeback.
“You step over those boards and you got a job to do,” said Slavin, who logged more than 29 minutes of ice time for the second time in three games and finished with a goal and an assist. “Everyone was up for the test with that five-minute kill.
“It’s huge, and the game could have completely changed if that goes the other way. But no, we did what we wanted to do.”
The Hurricanes got the game started the way they wanted on their first shift.
After Andrei Svechnikov nearly scored, Carolina maintained possession in the Jets end. Slavin found a shooting lane and got a shot through a Jordan Staal screen and past Connor Hellebuyck (30 saves) for his first goal of the season and a 1-0 Hurricanes lead.
“We wanted to start this trip off, right, and it’s huge going forward,” Slavin said of the early goal. “We just need to start games on time. That’s something that we struggle with sometimes, and so when we can start a game on time and it makes for a huge success later on.”
The Hurricanes scored again early in the second.
Defenseman Jalen Chatfield, playing his fourth game with the Hurricanes due to both Brett Pesce and Tony DeAngelo being the league’s COVID-19 protocol, accepted a Nino Niederreiter pass and fired on net. Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho got the rebound and snuck the puck around Hellebuyck to give Carolina a 2-0 lead just 72 seconds into the middle frame.
The Hurricanes had a chance to put the Jets away early after Winnipeg challenged Aho’s goal for goaltender interference and lost, putting Carolina on the power play.
Instead, Trocheck negated the power play after 33 seconds on a tripping penalty. The Jets took advantage when Nikolaj Ehlers finished off an odd-man rush at 4-on-4 to halve the lead.
The Jets then went to the power play on a tripping penalty on Cole, and Pierre-Luc Dubois redirected a shot on the power play that got past Frederik Andersen (16 saves) to tie the game with under four minutes left in the second.
That’s when Carolina’s special teams got to work.
“Special teams are always huge in this game, and we did a pretty good job overall,” said Aho, who had a goal and an assist. “We let one PK goal, but we killed a ton of penalties. So good effort all around, and nice to see the power get two goals too.”
Notes: Cole was called for two minor penalties before receiving 15 minutes for his kneeing major, giving him 19 PIMs on the night. The last Hurricanes player to have more was Eric Staal, who had 26 minutes on Oct. 23, 2009, after he received two misconducts and two minors with 40 seconds left in the game. Cole has had more than 19 PIMs twice in his career, both with Colorado in 2018-19. He had 20 PIMs on Nov. 1, 2018, at Calgary, and he had 22 on Feb. 7, 2019, at Washington. … Aho finished with seven shots on goal, the third time in three weeks he has had that many. … Niederreiter had two assists in a game for the first time since Dec. 17 2019.