RALEIGH — The Hurricanes rushed out to a big lead and survived a desperate Oilers team to win 6-3 Wednesday at PNC Arena.
Jesper Fast, Jack Drury, Teuvo Teravainen, Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas and Brent Burns scored for Carolina. Antti Raanta earned the win despite leaving after 20 minutes with an injury. He stopped seven of eight shots, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 13 saves in relief.
Zach Hyman had two goals and Mattias Ekholm scored shorthanded for Edmonton.
The Hurricanes improved to 11-7-0 — third place in the Metropolitan Division — while the Oilers skidded to 5-12-1.
1. How do you handle a fragile team? You unleash an onslaught.
After Fast scored his second goal of the season at 9:17 of the first period, the floodgates opened for Carolina and the Oilers looked — as they have often this season — helpless.
It was Fast’s first goal since Oct. 19, and that was also the last time anyone on his line with Jordan Staal and Jordan Martinook scored.
“It’s been a while,” Fast said. “Our line has been doing a lot of good stuff out there but can’t get the bounces so far this year. But (if) we keep working hard and playing the right way, they will come.”
Drury also scored (more on that below), and then the first line also got in on the fun, with Teravainen scoring off a pass from Sebastian Aho and Jarvis beating Stuart Skinner (10 saves) off the rush, ending the Edmonton goalie’s night in under 15 minutes.
The Hurricanes led 4-0 before Hyman scored the first of his two goals with a power play tally late in the first period, and Edmonton clawed back and made it interesting in the third as Carolina fought to regain its edge after taking its foot off the pedal with a big lead.
“There’s a couple things at play, but you kind of get off what got you there,” Brind’Amour said of the Hurricanes falling off after jumping out to the big lead. “And then they’ve got nothing to lose, so they’re kind of throwing all caution to the wind.”
2. Drury ended a 40-game goal drought — which includes 13 playoff games last season — by finishing off a 2-on-1 with Michael Bunting for Carolina’s second goal. Drury’s last goal was March 14, and he’s been snake-bitten by called-off goals, posts and anything else you can imagine.
“He’s played really well,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s tough — I didn’t get them out there as much as I like just because of the way the game was going and how they were using their lines. He’s had a bunch of goals, I think, that have been called back. He’s just been tough luck for scoring, but I think he’s played really well. So it was nice to see him get rewarded.”
3. It’s not often you definitively lose the special teams battle but win going away. Carolina’s power play went 0 or 5, allowing a Mattias Ekholm shorthanded goal late in the second period, and it also gave up a goal just 5 seconds into Edmonton’s first power play of the night late in the first.
“They did a nice faceoff play,” Brind’Amour said of the Oilers’ power play goal. “We messed it up. We knew it was coming, but that’s what happens. And then they put a nice pass and you gotta give them credit. And then obviously the shorty is bad. That’s just not backchecking properly extending your shift. That should never happen. It kind of gave them a little life coming into the third period.”
After the Oilers cut the lead to 5-3 early in the third, Necas went to the box for holding the stick. The penalty kill came up big when needed, getting a big blocker save from Kochetkov early in the penalty and then running off the rest of the time.
Then with Calvin Pickard on the bench for an extra attacker and Brett Pesce in the box for holding, Staal won a defensive zone faceoff and Burns backhanded the puck the length of the ice for a shorthanded empty-netter to ice the game.
“It was huge at the end,” Brind’Amour said of the penalty kill. “That was 6-on-4 there, big draw by Jordo and obviously Burnzie was able to fire it in.”
Number to know
15 — Hurricanes with a point Wednesday, the most for the franchise since relocation to North Carolina. The Whalers had 16 different players register a point four times.
Jalen Chatfield, Hurricanes defenseman — Chatfield got back in the lineup for the first time in nearly two weeks, and he delivered. He had two assists in the first period — the third multipoint game of his career — and paired with Dmitry Orlov to allow just one shot on goal in 10:46 of 5-on-5 ice time.
“I just tried to stay ready and get on ice early and stay late and just make sure when my name was called I was ready to go,” Chatfield said.
Antti Raanta, Hurricanes goalie — On an otherwise perfect night, the Hurricanes got the last thing they needed. Raanta left the game after one period with a lower-body injury, a move the team called precautionary.
“He said he just felt something a little funny,” Brind’Amour said. “Nothing seriously we didn’t think, but then we didn’t want to take a chance.”
Kochetkov came on in relief and made several big stops in the third. The depth behind him and Raanta is thin — only first-year pro Yaniv Perets, playing with the ECHL’s Norfolk Admirals, is on an NHL contract — so Carolina will be hoping Raanta is OK.
They said it
“We didn’t do ourselves any favors. We made it hard for us.”
— Kris Knoblauch, Oilers coach