RALEIGH — When hockey historians look back on Antti Raanta’s performance Tuesday in Detroit, they likely won’t think much of anything: 37 saves, four goals allowed in a 4-3 overtime loss.
But the goalie probably had his best performance since joining the Hurricanes, stopping several breakaways and keeping Carolina in a game it probably didn’t deserve to be in.
The Red Wings earned the win on rookie Lucas Raymond’s power play goal in overtime, but only after Raanta stood on his head to get the Hurricanes one point in the standings.
“Raants played unbelievable,” Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin said. “It’s such a shame we didn’t play full 60 for him in front, He made huge saves throughout the game, huge saves in overtime. We just got to be better for him.”
Detroit went on the power play after Carolina was called for too many men when a player was bumped at center ice, altering the timing of a line change.
“That was just — a weird thing happens and whoever’s going on sees him coming,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the play that resulted in the too many men call. “So he expects to go and doesn’t expect the guy to fall and that’s what happens. So it’s unfortunate.”
Raanta stopped three shots on the ensuing 4-on-3 Red Wings power play, but Tyler Bertuzzi created chaos in front of the net with under 10 seconds left in overtime and the puck bounced to Raymond for the easy winner.
“Those things are always tough to take when it feels like it’s your day and you’re dialed in like that,” Raanta said of being the hard-luck loser. “There were a lot of things that felt really good, and I felt like I was on top of my game. … Sometimes hockey is like that and bounces don’t go your way.”
In a game that had plenty of action but few goals, the third period saw the spigot open up, with both teams holding — and then relinquishing — the lead en route to overtime.
In fact, it looked like Carolina would win its sixth straight until Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin capitalized on a Brady Skjei turnover to tie the game with 3:10 left in regulation.
Larkin’s goal came just 38 seconds after the Hurricanes’ captain, Jordan Staal, had scored to put his team ahead, banging in a rebound past former Carolina goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (27 saves) to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead.
It was the second goal of the period for Staal’s line, which scored at 7:06 to even the score when Jesper Fast got his 11th of the season through a Staal screen and off a Detroit stick. That tied the game after Detroit’s Michael Rasmussen had scored at 2:45 of the second.
For the first two periods, Carolina and Detroit felt each other out, and only two goals were scored.
The Hurricanes, after successfully killing off two Detroit power plays in the first 8:19 of the opening period, converted their first man advantage.
Vincent Trocheck made a quick pass to the slot, and Sebastian Aho converted it for his team-leading 24th goal of the season at13:02 of the first.
The Red Wings tied the game at 1-1 when Carter Rowney pulled off a rare feat, winning a battle down low against Staal and scoring at the top of the crease with eight minutes left in the first.
In all, it felt like an uneven performance from the Hurricanes, one that probably wouldn’t have resulted in even one point if not for Raanta.
“We weren’t that great but still in position to win the game,” Brind’Amour said.
Notes: Teuvo Teravainen assisted on Aho’s goal, the 172nd time the duo has connected for a goal to set a new franchise record. Ron Francis and Kevin Dineen hooked up 171 times for goals with the Whalers. … Teravainen has points in each game since coming back from injury, giving him a nine-game streak. … Detroit had 41 shots goal, the fourth time this season a team has eclipsed 40 shots on the Hurricanes. … Staal has goals in three of his last five games. … Martin Necas’ goal drought has hit 16 games, and Seth Jarvis’ is at 15.