Category 5: Hurricanes enter No-rest November

Carolina had a record-tying night against the Lightning

The Hurricanes fired 55 shots on Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in Carolina's 4-3 shootout win Thursday in Tampa. (Chris O'Meara / AP Photo)

The Hurricanes play their second of 13 games in November on Friday after pulling off a 4-3 shootout win in Tampa Bay on Thursday.

1. It’s hard to argue against Carolina’s start to the month. The Hurricanes pelted Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy with 55 shots — the second most he’s faced in a regular season game in his career — and got two points to improve to 7-2-1 on the season and 5-1-1 on the road. It is tied for the fifth-most shots on goal in a regular season game in franchise history.

While both the Hurricanes’ power play and penalty kill had their troubles against the Lightning, they did come through.

Martin Necas scored his sixth goal of the season on an Alex Ovechkin-esque one-timer from the left circle to tie the game at 2-2 with just under six minutes left in the second period.

And then the penalty kill — which was scored on three times in the second period, though one was overturned by review — also evened the game for Carolina in the third period when Brady Skjei got his second career shorthanded goal at 13:34 of the third period to force overtime. Sebastian Aho ended up winning it in the shootout.

2. As mentioned, Vasilevskiy had only once before faced more than 50 shots in his career in a regular season game, stopping 54 shots in a 5-4 overtime win at Washington in March 2019.

He also had a 61-save game in Tampa Bay’s 3-2 five-overtime win over the Blue Jackets in August 2020.

From a Hurricanes point of view, it was an explosive night. Carolina became the 35th team to have at least nine players register four or more shots on goal in a game, according to Aho, Brent Burns, Seth Jarvis, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Necas, Stefan Noesen, Jaccob Slavin, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen all had at least four shots on Vasilevskiy, led by Burns’ seven.

The record is 10, done by four teams — most recently the 1995-96 Avalanche with players like Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Claude Lemieux and former Hurricanes defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh.

It’s the second time Carolina has had nine players register at least four shots on goal. On Oct. 13, 2018, the Hurricanes earned a 5-4 overtime win over the Wild by raining 57 shots on Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk. That win, like Thursday’s, was also ended by Aho, who scored the OT winner.

Three players — Aho, Slavin and Teravainen — were among the Hurricanes to get at least four shots on goal, and Justin Faulk led the way with eight.

3. While we’re talking about shots, there are a handful of Hurricanes who wish one of theirs would finally go in.

Florida’s Sam Reinhart “leads” NHL forwards in shots on goal without a goal this season with 31, but three of the top seven players on that list are Hurricanes.

Teravainen (26, fourth), Derek Stepan (19, sixth) and Kotkaniemi (18, seventh) are all still looking for their first goal. Stepan has had one goal disallowed and another shot hit the post this season.

The shot-happy Hurricanes also have some at the top of the no-goal list for defensemen. Slavin ranks third with 26 shots without a goal, while Brett Pesce has 19 shots on goal without scoring, tied for 17th most. Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba has the most among any player with 34 shots and no goals.

4. Defenseman Jalen Chatfield nearly cracked the top 20 as well, tying for 21st with 18 shots and no goals. He did, however, make a little bit of history — and not the great kind — Thursday.

Chatfield was called for three minor penalties against the Lightning. He took tripping and high-sticking penalties on the same sequence at 2:48 of the second, and then he was called for cross-checking later in the period — also on a play in which Tampa Bay drew two calls. Ross Colton earned the cross-checking call on Chatfield, and then Jordan Martinook’s cup check on Colton earned him two minutes for slashing.

The last time a Hurricanes player was hit with three minor penalties in a game (not counting double-minors or unsportsmanlike/roughing penalties tacked onto an initial penalty) was March 1, 2014, when Mike Komisarek was called for boarding, hooking and tripping in a 3-1 loss to the Kings.

Four minors in a game? That was last done by Erik Cole, who was called for roughing, goaltender interference, roughing (again) and holding in a 7-1 win over the Thrashers on March 28, 2008, in a game that had 115 penalty total minutes, including 72 by Atlanta.

While we’re talking penalties, the most in a game in Carolina/Hartford franchise history belongs to Greg Adams, who had 35 PIMs against the Bruins in an 8-0 loss on Nov. 27, 1982, and had three fights — all against Gord Kluzak — a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct.

Since the move to North Carolina, Enrico Ciccone holds the record with 26 in a 4-2 loss at the Rangers on Oct. 10, 1997. Twenty-four of those minutes came at 5:44 of the third period.

The most on home ice since relocation is 21. Bates Battaglia did it Oct. 19, 2002, in a 3-2 win over the Devils, highlighted by a fight against Scott Stevens after the New Jersey defenseman was called for kneeing Jeff O’Neill. It didn’t go great for Battaglia.


Jesse Boulerice also had 21 minutes in a 9-0 loss to the Thrashers on Nov. 12, 2005, that included a heavyweight bout with Eric Boulton.

5. The Hurricanes might have their most challenging schedule in February. They already banked two points against the Lightning and will face the surprising Sabres at home on Friday before hosting the Maple Leafs on Sunday.

The rest of the month’s opponents are Florida, Edmonton, Colorado (twice), Chicago, Minnesota, Winnipeg, Arizona, Boston, Calgary and Pittsburgh. The Sabres, Oilers and Flames will all come at home but be in the second game of back-to-backs after a road game (and tough road games — Thursday’s against Tampa preceded the Sabres game, and then Carolina plays at the Panthers before hosting Edmonton and the Bruins before Calgary).