The Carolina Hurricanes had an interesting Friday and Saturday this past week playing two games back-to-back. One at home and one on the road. The team even got delayed in Raleigh due to a snowstorm that grounded planes at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Flew into New Jersey the day of the game, and still managed a win between all of that. Nothing is quite easy when it comes to the NHL.

Hurricanes Take Down Blue Shirts at Home

Carolina Hurricanes’ forwards Nino Niederreiter (21) and Vincent Trocheck (16)

The first of the back-to-back saw the New York Rangers come to town to face the Hurricanes. Right from the opening puck drop, it would be all Carolina this game. Carolina’s Vincent Trocheck would get the Hurricanes on the board at the 13:13 mark of the first period with a powerplay goal. Trocheck with the net-front presence was able to get in the right spot to deflect a Tony DeAngelo shot from the point to make it 1-0 Hurricanes. That goal would be Trocheck’s ninth of the season and DeAngelo’s 23rd assist. Also, Andrei Svechnikov would be awarded the secondary assist to give him his 18th of the year.

The Hurricanes though would add one more goal before the first period was all said and done. Sebastian Aho would take advantage of a bobbling puck that eluded Rangers reigning Norris winner Adam Fox which would lead to Aho having a 2-on-1 advantage with Seth Jarvis. That sequence would end with Aho saucing a pass to Jarvis to make it a 2-0 Carolina lead to end the first period.

Carolina Pours it on

The second period would see an explosion of goals from the Hurricanes as they would add three to the period. At the 3:33 mark, Jesper Fast would tally his ninth goal of the season. That was Fast’s first goal against his former team, the Rangers. He would end up being assisted by fellow Rangers teammate Tony DeAngelo and Steven Lorentz. That would be DeAngelo’s 24th assist and Lorentz’s third.

In his 400th NHL game, Sebastian Aho wanted to make his mark on this game other than making assists. In an unreal goal while almost on his back, Aho would score his 17th goal of the season at the 14:46 mark of the period. He just keeps proving why he is an elite player in the NHL. He is widely considered a steal from the second round in an unreal 2015 NHL draft. This goal shows why he is an elite player in the league:

The last goal of the second period was set up by probably the most insane fake out people will see this year. While behind the Rangers goal, Andrei Svechnikov looked to be setting up for the lacrosse goal. Which he has done a lot already. Although, it was clear that the Rangers weren’t going to let him do that. That would lead him to absolutely fake out the defense to pass the pick to Nino Niederreiter who would then bury the puck to make it 5-1 Carolina.

The last period saw a mini-comeback for the Rangers when they cut the Hurricanes lead from 5-1 to 5-3. Although, former Rangers player Tony DeAngelo would end a three-point night with a powerplay goal to make it 6-3 at the 17:27 mark. That powerplay goal would end Carolina’s night on the powerplay a perfect 2-for-2. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes’ special teams, the Canes gave up two powerplay goals on three penalty kills.

Hurricanes Taken Down by Devils

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei

As mentioned earlier, the Hurricanes couldn’t fly up to New Jersey after the game Friday due to a snowstorm that shut down RDU Airport. The team had to fly early in the morning on Saturday to play the Devils the same day. When the game started it seemed like it would be another fast start for Carolina.

Andrei Svechnikov would start the scoring early on an absolute snipe from the sidewall at the 2:20 mark to make it 1-0 Hurricanes. No one could have put that in a smaller hole than what Svechnikov put that puck in. That would be his 14th goal of the season. He would end up being assisted by Vincent Trocheck (18th assist) and Brendan Smith (2nd).

Not too much later, Ian Cole would make it 2-0 Carolina at the 5:44 mark of the first period. It was an absolute rocket just above the left faceoff circle in the Devils zone. It brought the stick back and ripped it in the net. Unfortunately, that lead disappeared fast.

The Devils would come back to score two of their own, both by Nathan Bastian, at the 17:26 and 19:06 mark of the period to make it 2-2 after 20 minutes. It seemed like the end boards were giving the puck a weird bounce which lead to both goals for the Devils. That has to be mentioned because the refs went to fix the boards behind the goal after the first period was concluded.

Devils Stuck a Fork in Carolina

After the first period, it seemed like the Hurricanes couldn’t find a solution to the Devils scoring. The second period saw two Hurricanes goals to the Devils three. Carolina’s Josh Leivo would give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead at the 3:25 mark of the period. Although, New Jersey’s Michael McLeod and Andreas Johnsson would give the Devils a 4-3 lead with goals coming at the 8:47 and 11:16 mark respectively. But, the Hurricanes’ hot stick defenseman, Brady Skjei, would tie the game up at the 15:24 mark of the second period. That would end up being the last goal for the Hurricanes.

The Devils would end up getting three more goals, one more in the second and two in the third period, to end the game 7-4. The last second-period goal was from Jesper Bratt while Jack Hughes and Pavel Zacha scored both third-period goals.

Unfortunately, all seven goals were given up by rookie goaltender Jack LaFontaine. One can’t really put all the blame on the kid. It was his first career NHL start on a back end of a back-to-back with same-day travel for the Hurricanes. It was one of those games where the team has to chalk it up to hockey being hockey and anyone can lose on any given night. Carolina does have the next couple of days off to prepare for the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night back home in Raleigh. There is a good chance of a bounce-back game for the Hurricanes in that game against Vegas. There is no doubt that head coach Rod Brind’Amour will have the guys ready come Tuesday night.

My name is Zach Martin, the Carolina Hurricanes writer for Belly Up Hockey and Belly Up Sports. Check out my Carolina Hurricanes podcast called The SurgeCast on Twitter and all podcast platforms. Follow me on Twitter for the most up-to-date Carolina Hurricanes content and news.
About Author

Zach Martin

Originally from Ravenna, Ohio now currently residing in South Carolina. Currently covering the Carolina Hurricanes for Belly Up Hockey along with being the podcast host of The SurgeCast. A history, science fiction/fantasy, and Dungeons & Dragons nerd.

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