RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes solved their power play issues on Black Friday, and on Saturday they ended their losing streak.
Brett Pesce scored on the power play, his first goal of the season, in the third period to give Carolina its third lead of the game, and this time it held up in a 3-2 win over the Flames in front of 18,845 at PNC Arena.
“Everyone knows we faced some adversity these past five, six games,” Pesce said. “So this was huge for us and just our confidence and just finding a way to win again.”
It marked the second straight game the Hurricanes’ power play got goals from both its units.
On the winning goal, Paul Stastny controlled the puck along the boards on the zone entry and flipped the puck to Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who quickly worked it to the point. Pesce cruised to the top of the left circle and snapped a wrist shot past two Flames defenders and beat goaltender Dan Vladar (30 saves) to the short side for the game-winner at 8:46 of the third.
It was the second power play goal of the night after the top unit scored to give Carolina a 2-1 lead 3:41 into the second period when Stefan Noesen spotted Martin Necas and fed him a backdoor pass that the latter knocked in for his 10th goal of the season.
“It’s good to see both power play units producing,” Pesce said.
The win ended a 0-1-4 stretch for Carolina right before the team heads out on a six-game road trip.
“Everyone knew that we’re gonna go back to the road again,” said Carolina goalie Antti Raanta, who started for the first time since taking a puck to the outside of his knee during Wednesday’s morning skate and picked up his first win since Nov. 4. “So it was nice to get that win at home.”
The Flames did rally from behind twice, the first time after Carolina opened the scoring.
In the first period, Carolina had consecutive chances that Vladar stopped, but Calgary’s Dillon Dube immediately turned the puck over to Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns.
Burns slashed toward the net and backhanded a pass to Seth Jarvis, who knocked it in at 6:20 to end his 11-game goal drought and give the Hurricanes their first even-strength goal in 11 regulation periods.
“I feel like a lot of other aspects of my game really progressed well, and I was happy with how I was playing, I think just not getting the bounces,” Jarvis said of his goal drought. “I think now I’m starting to see pucks are kicking my way a little bit more. I’m finding rebounds and just overall getting more shots on net, which is going to create more goals for myself and teammates.”
The Flames tied the game when Adam Ruzicka got his fifth goal of the season by scoring off the rebound of a Michael Stone shot at 18:09 of the first.
After Necas’ power play goal put Carolina ahead again, Calgary got the equalizer when the Hurricanes botched a line change.
Noesen went to the bench and a Carolina player didn’t replace him on the ice for nine seconds. Tyler Toffoli took advantage and scored on a breakaway past Raanta (18 saves) at 12:57 of the middle frame.
It was the type of play that sunk the Hurricanes during their skid. Instead, Carolina persevered.
“Every game that we’ve played something like that’s happened or we’ve felt like we’ve gotten lots of opportunities and they go down and get one,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “And you’re like, ‘What is happening?’ That’s kind of a feeling you get, but I thought tonight we just stuck with it.
“We got the two points. That’s all that matters.”
Notes: The team announced that former goalie Cam Ward will be inducted into the team’s new Hall of Fame, joining Brind’Amour, Ron Francis and Glen Wesley, who are all charter members by way of their numbers being retired. … Kotkaniemi has points in consecutive games for the first time this season.