RALEIGH — The looks on the faces of Hurricanes Jordan Staal, Jaccob Slavin and Brent Burns expressed both survival and relief. After starting overtime, the trio was on the ice for 1:53, gradually slowing as they huffed, puffed and chased the Stars around the ice while trying to get possession.
Goalie Antti Raanta finally got a whistle, and the OT starters’ sacrifice was rewarded.
Martin Necas picked the puck up in the defensive zone and pulled away from Dallas captain Jamie Benn. Andrei Svechnikov joined him to make it a 2-on-1 and got off a backhand that Stars goalie Scott Wedgewood (33 saves) stopped.
But Svechnikov retrieved the rebound behind the net and passed the puck in front to Necas, who got enough on it to power it through a Miro Heiskanen block and into the net for a 5-4 Carolina win in front of a sellout crowd Saturday at PNC Arena.
“There was a little back pressure, so there was not much time for making a play,” Necas said. “But I saw Svech there and gave it to him. Kind of a bad pass, but he got a shot out of it and made a great play back to me.”
The overtime goal improved the Hurricanes to 8-0-2 in their last 10 games and salvaged a second point after the Stars erased a two-goal deficit in the third period.
Seth Jarvis seemed to put the game away early in the third period when he drove to the net against three Stars and found a way to get the puck past Wedgewood for his sixth goal of the season at 2:44 of the final frame.
But the Stars fought their way back into it.
First, Tyler Seguin became the third Dallas player to score on a redirection when he tipped defenseman Colin Miller’s point shot past Raanta (26 saves) to cut the lead to one at 9:05 of the third.
Then the Stars’ top line had its best shift of the night, and Jason Robertson picked up his third assist when he fed former Hurricanes defenseman Jani Hakanpaa for a shot in the slot that trickled through Raanta’s pads to tie the game less than two minutes after the Seguin goal.
“In the third, it wasn’t like we were playing poorly,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It’s just a couple weird ones. They got one nice one, the (tying goal) … and they’re elite at tipping pucks.”
After 13 penalties were called in the first two periods, the whistles were put away for the third, and both teams had chances to go ahead in the final minutes but settled for overtime.
Then came the equivalent of hell week wrapped in a 113-second overtime bow.
“They gutted it out,” Brind’Amour said of Staal, Slavin and Burns at the start of overtime. “We gave up a couple little chances, but at least it wasn’t the disastrous meltdown out there it could’ve been.”
That opened the door for Necas, who now has 13 goals in 30 games after scoring 14 in a combined 92 regular season and playoff games last season.
“He’s always around it,” Brind’Amour said. “Obviously, that’s a big goal.”
The first 40 minutes were full of penalties, power plays and goals.
Carolina got the game’s first power play and needed just five seconds to score. The Hurricanes won the puck back to Burns, who worked the puck to Teuvo Teravainen at the left circle. Teravainen’s wrist shot was redirected in the high slot by Stefan Noesen for his fifth goal of the season and a 1-0 at 6:20 of the opening period.
After killing off Dallas’ second power play opportunity Carolina had a follow-up shift that led to its second goal.
Svechnikov came out of the penalty box after serving a tripping penalty and blitzed up the right wing, weaving past the Stars’ defense and firing a wrist shot from the right circle that cleanly beat Wedgewood to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead at 17:03 of the first.
“That’s what he can do, right?” Brind’Amour said.
But Dallas got to work erasing a two-goal deficit for the first of two times after that.
The Stars scored on the power play when Joe Pavelski tipped a Robertson shot in front to make it 2-1 with 82 seconds left in the opening 20.
Then after a 5-on-3 power play ended early in the second period, the Stars scored again at 5-on-4, this time with Benn redirecting a shot past Raanta to tie the game at 5:38 of the middle frame.
The Hurricanes then got a two-man advantage of their own and scored at 5-on-3 for the first time since the 2020-21 season.
Burns fed across to Necas, who passed on a one-timer and instead went across the ice to Teravainen. Teravainen quickly settled the puck and shot it off Wedgewood’s shoulder and in for his first goal of the year and to give Carolina a 3-2 lead.
“We were just running our plays,” Tervainen said. “I had the puck a lot there. I just tried to find the open guys, really, and had a couple good looks. (Necas) made a nice pass to me and I got a lucky goal.”
Brind’Amour added: “He needed it just for his confidence.”
The Hurricanes will now have a chance to tie for first in the Metropolitan Division when they face the Penguins on Sunday. The first-place Devils lost Saturday, their 31st game of the season, and a Carolina win in their 31st game against Pittsburgh would tie the team with New Jersey at 44 points.
Notes: Carolina defenseman Jalen Chatfield registered his first point of the season, picking up a primary assist on Svechnikov’s first-period goal. … The win was Don Waddell’s 500th as an NHL general manager. … Necas had a career-high eight shots on goal. His previous high was six, which he had twice this season and five times in his career. … Necas has nine multipoint games this season, topping the eight he had in 2021-22.