The Carolina Hurricanes decided to do some spring cleaning in the Keystone State Sunday and Monday. Carolina played the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. The result? A back-to-back road-trip sweep of both Pennsylvania teams. What’s more important was that the Hurricanes had played three games in four days in that stretch of time. Their third game came from their win against Nashville on Friday. That is a lot of hockey in four days, but Carolina dug deep and is now on a three-game winning streak.

Hurricanes Surge on the Steel City

Carolina Hurricanes forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi during the team’s 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins

The Hurricanes go into Pittsburgh to play the Penguins for the first time this season. What was at stake? A possible lead in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams sat at 70 points at puck drop with Carolina having games in hand.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi would start the scoring for Carolina at the 15:18 mark of the first period. He would pick up a loose puck in the slot near the front of the net. The puck came off of Jordan Martinook‘s stick and Kotkaniemi being in the right spot flung the puck at the net. Luckily for the Hurricanes, it went in. Furthermore, what made that play better was that the goal would become his 11th of the season. That would tie a career-best that would match his rookie season total. Plus, he was able to do it in 46 games. Martinook would pick up his seventh assist on the season along with Seth Jarvis‘ 11th.

It Only Takes Nine Seconds, Twice

Carolina got on a fast start in the second period as captain Jordan Staal makes it 2-0 Hurricanes at the nine-second mark of the period. That is not a typo. It was only nine seconds for Staal to double Carolina’s lead. It looked like the puck bounced off of Staal and went into the net past, Tristan Jarry. Jarry had the initial save but the rebound just managed to bounce off Staal. That would be Staal’s fourth goal of the season.

Unfortunately, Carolina would lose the lead after Bryan Rust and Sidney Crosby would tie the game at 2-2 before the period would come to an end. Rust’s goal would come at the 14:43 mark of the second period. Also, Crosby’s would come at the 17:59 mark.

Although, the Hurricanes would get the lead right back in the third period. This one would also come nine seconds into the period just like the second period. Off the initial faceoff, the puck was picked up by Brady Skjei in the neutral zone and passed to Nino Niederreiter just inside the Penguins zone. It looked like initially that Niederreiter would shoot the puck, although, he would snap a quick pass over to an open Jesper Fast who would snipe the puck past Jarry to make it a 3-2 Hurricanes lead. Furthermore, that would be Fast’s 10th goal of the season along with Niederreiter’s 11th assist and Skjei’s 14th.

Aho Secures Game-Winning Goal

Sebastian Aho would snag the fourth, and final goal for the Hurricanes in the third period at the 14:18 mark. It would be a powerplay goal to boot. What made this play even more otherworldly was the assist by Teuvo Teräväinen that set up the goal. Teräväinen faked out the entire Penguins team as he was looking at Vincent Trocheck, but instead passed it off to Aho who would wheel around and blast the puck past Jarry to make it 4-2 Carolina. They say Finns Get Winns, but the combination of Aho and Teräväinen is an absolute nightmare for opposing teams. These two along with Andrei Svechnikov make the SAT line very notorious to give teams fits. That would end up being Aho’s 22nd goal of the season along with Teräväinen’s 27th assist and Tony DeAngelo‘s 31st.

Evan Rodrigues would cut the lead down to 4-3 but the Hurricanes would hold on to win the game in the Steel City. Unfortunately, that did come off of an extra attacker which has snake bitten Carolina the last two games. That would be the third goal given up by the Hurricanes where they are on a 6-on-5 disadvantage. Nonetheless, a win is a win and that would be Carolina’s second straight win. Plus, that would be Antti Raanta‘s 100th career NHL win.

Hurricanes Secure Pennsylvania Sweep in Philadelphia

Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei

The Hurricanes would play their second game in a back-to-back in the City of Brotherly Love against the Philadelphia Flyers. It would be the second-to-last time these two teams face each other. The final matchup is slated for March 12th.

There would be no goals in the first period for either team. Carolina would start the game slow, which giving them the benefit of the doubt, makes sense since it was their third game in four days. Nonetheless, Nino Niederreiter would open the scoring 25 seconds into the second period to make it a 1-0 Hurricanes lead. Jesper Fast would shoot the puck deep to try to wrap the puck around the boards. Although, it seemed like the puck took a weird bounce off the stanchion and go to the front of the net. Niederreiter, always seeming to be in the right place at the right time, would snap the puck past Flyers netminder, Martin Jones. That would be Niederreiter’s 15th goal of the season. Furthermore, that would be Jesper Fast’s ninth assist and Jaccob Slavin‘s 26th.

Although the lead would not last long as the Flyers, Gerry Mayhew would tie the game 35 seconds after the Niederreiter goal. Teuvo Teräväinen would make the game 2-1 again for the Hurricanes at the 12:13 mark of the second period. The setup of the play was phenomenal as the SAT line (Svechnikov-Aho-Teräväinen) would see Svechnikov go around the Flyers net and backhand the put to a net crashing Teräväinen. The puck would go past Jones to give Carolina a lead going into the second intermission.

Here Come the Cardiac Canes

The rest of the game would become one of grabbing a paper bag and breathing into it. Philadelphia’s Patrick Brown would tie the game at the 5:19 mark of the period. But, thankfully Vincent Trocheck would give Carolina the lead at the 7:15 mark of the period. Not even a full two minutes later. Trocheck would pick puck off of a rebound from Jones’ pads from an initial Martin Necas tip and bury it in the net off of his backhand. That was a very much-needed goal for the Hurricanes as the game was winding down. That would be Trocheck’s 14th goal of the season along with Necas’ 19th assist and Ian Cole‘s 11th.

The Hurricanes, unfortunately, would not be able to hold onto the lead as Oskar Lindblom would tie the game up at the 15:07 mark of the period. The regulation would end with the score tied 3-3 and going into overtime. Although, the Hurricanes would secure the second point as Brett Pesce would take a cross-ice pass from Trocheck and bury it past Jones at the 4:42 mark of the overtime period. That play secured Carolina’s third-straight win. It seemed like Pesce knocked the pass down from Trocheck and put it cleaner on his stick to snap it home. That would be Pesce’s fourth goal of the season along with Trocheck’s 21st assist and Staal’s 13th. Furthermore, this would be the third win in four games, two in a span of 24 hours.

Bust out the brooms Hurricanes fans, the Canes swept Pennsylvania.

My name is Zach Martin, the Carolina Hurricanes beat 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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