Svechnikov’s 2 goals lead Hurricanes past Blues

Carolina won its fourth straight

Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov celebrates his goal with teammates Seth Jarvis and Jaccob Slavin during Carolina’s 4-1 win Tuesday over the Blues in Raleigh. (Karl B. DeBlaker / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — It would’ve been understandable if the Hurricanes had a letdown following their electrifying win in the Stadium Series game three days ago.

Andrei Svechnikov made sure the Hurricanes didn’t miss a beat.

The Carolina winger scored twice in the first eight minutes of the game, ending a 19-game goal drought, and added an assist for his second three-point night in three games in the Hurricanes’ 4-1 win over the Blues on Tuesday in front of 18,142 Tuesday at PNC Arena.

“I wasn’t worried,” Svechnikov said of his goalless streak. “I know what kind of player I am, I know I can score.”

It took Svechnikov just 86 seconds to finally score in 2023, carrying the puck up the right wing, cutting to the middle and wristing a shot past Blues goalie Jordan Binnington (32 saves) for his 20th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.

“Svech got us going,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “He was on tonight. He was dynamic pretty much the whole game.”

Seth Jarvis knew that was the start of good things for Svechnikov.

“You see that first goal? That was a rip,” Jarvis said. “So anytime he starts the game off like that, you know it’s gonna be a good night.”

Jarvis proved clairvoyant about his linemate.

Svechnikov doubled the lead at 7:57 of the first, flipping the puck into a vacant net after Jarvis tipped a Brent Burns point shot to extend the lead to 2-0. It was the fourth multigoal game of the season for Svechnikov, the most of any Hurricanes player this season.

“It’s been a while for me,” Svechnikov said of scoring, “and whenever you score it gives you a little bit of confidence and you just tried to buzz out there and create even more chances. That’s what I was doing tonight.”

The Hurricanes also won for the 10th time in the 11 starts by goalie Frederik Andersen since he returned from injury on Jan. 2.

“Freddie was great,” Brind’Amour said. “He kept us in the game.”

The only blemish on Andersen’s 35-save performance came when former Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk scored his 41st career regular season goal at PNC Arena to cut Carolina’s lead in half at 3:59 of the second period.

The Hurricanes’ top line, however, struck again to reestablish their two-goal advantage.

Sebastian Aho won a puck battle behind the Blues net and got the puck to Svechnikov in the corner. His centering pass wound up on Aho’s stick, and he stuffed it in the net to Binnington’s left to make it 3-1 with 3:24 left in the middle frame.

The top line then delivered the final blow early in the third when, in the St. Louis zone, Blues defenseman Colton Parayko mishandled the puck and it was taken by Aho. He dropped it to Jarvis between the hashmarks, and the second-year winger waited out Binnington and swept the puck in the net at 2:25 to make it 4-1.

“Usually I just get that and shoot it,” Jarvis said. “But I thought maybe I’ll be a little cool, hold onto this. … Luckily, it worked out.”

All that was left was the Svechnikov hat trick watch, which almost ended when he attempted a lacrosse move but was denied by Parayko.

“I think I would’ve thrown my helmet on the ice too, I would’ve been so excited,” Jarvis said.

Forward Jesper Fast — with Binnington on the bench for an extra attacker and the crowd chanting “We want Svech!” — fanned on a shot in the clear at the empty net, giving Svechnikov one more shift to get his third hat trick of the season.

But the Hurricanes had to settle for a fourth straight win and knowing the festivities of the last week didn’t lead to a trap game effort.

“You’ve got a job to do, and I didn’t think we had a huge letdown at all,” Brind’Amour said. “That was probably the thing I’m most happy about with the group.”

Notes: Blues defenseman Marco Scandella made his season debut and played in his 700th career game. … Svechnikov and Aho both finished plus-4 on the night, the first time in both their careers they have done so. … Former Hurricanes forward Josh Leivo had a game-high five shots on goal for the Blues.