RALEIGH — The Hurricanes didn’t have their “A” game Thursday against the visiting Flyers.
But they did have Pyotr Kochetkov.
Carolina’s rookie goalie, recalled Wednesday after Antti Raanta was injured in the Hurricanes’ previous game, made 19 saves to earn his fourth shutout in just his 20th appearance this season in a 1-0 win over Philadelphia in front of 18,680 at PNC Arena.
“You can see, he’s just so calm and very confident in himself,” teammate Andrei Svechnikov said of Kochetkov. “I guess he just knew what he was gonna do.”
The Hurricanes needed just over two minutes to give Kochetkov a lead, scoring the only goal of the night.
After Philadelphia’s Kevin Hayes was called for tripping Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce, the Hurricanes’ power play went to work. After taking about 40 seconds to establish possession in the Flyers’ zone, the Hurricanes quickly carved up the Philadelphia penalty kill.
Martin Necas, set up at the sideboards, passed to Svechnikov in the slot, and he quickly flicked a shot past Flyers goalie Felix Sandstorm (28 saves) to give Carolina the game’s only goal at 2:09 of the first period.
“That happens sometimes,” Svechnikov said of the team scoring just once. “You score right away and then you don’t score for a full game. But, yeah, you expect to see more goals, but it didn’t happen today.”
The Hurricanes had three more power plays on the night but couldn’t again solve Sandstorm, who fell to 1-13-2 in his career despite being the Flyers’ best player all night.
“We were getting some pretty good looks, just they weren’t going,” Brind’Amour said of the power play. “All in all it wasn’t bad, and it was the difference in the game.”
Kochetkov, meanwhile, wasn’t as tested. But when he was, the 23-year-old was ready.
His biggest stop came with about 12 minutes left in the second period and Carolina up 1-0. Philadelphia’s Joel Farabee had a breakaway after Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei fell in transition. But Kochetkov easily brushed away the Flyers forward’s attempt to go five-hole, maintaining the one-goal lead.
“Their goalie played really well, and he had to match it,” Brind’Amour said. “Obviously, that breakaway in the second was probably the biggest one.”
With the net secure, the Hurricanes’ only other concern was injuries — and they dodged a big one.
Svechnikov was taken to the locker room in the second period after being cut by Hayes’ skate on the inside of his left thigh.
“I’ve just got a little cut,” said Svechnikov, who returned for the next shift, “but it’s all good, thank god. … I thought it would be a bigger cut, but I just tried to hold it because it hurt for one minute, but after that it was fine.”
A late penalty to Carolina’s Jesper Fast gave the Flyers their first power play of the night and created some drama, but the Hurricanes’ penalty kill extended its streak to nine games without allowing a goal and has killed off 25 straight penalties.
“We’re all up for the task whenever the task approaches,” defenseman Brett Pesce said of the late-game kill.
At 18-3-1 in their last 22 games, the Hurricanes appear to be up to just about any task.
Notes: Hurricanes defenseman Jalen Chatfield did not play after being injured during Tuesday’s game in Montreal. … Jesse Puljujarvi was a healthy scratch for Carolina after participating in Thursday morning’s skate, his first on-ice session with the team since being acquired by the Hurricanes from Edmonton on Feb. 28. … Carolina defenseman Brent Burns turned 38 years old on Thursday. … Former Hurricanes defenseman Tony DeAngelo did not play for the Flyers after being suspended two games for spearing Tampa Bay forward Corey Perry on Tuesday. … Tyson Foerster, Philadelphia’s first-round pick in 2020, made his NHL debut.