Entering tonight’s contest, the San Jose Sharks held a record of 0-6-1, sitting in last place in the NHL by two points.
So, when the Hurricanes came out and netted two goals in the first period en route to a 3-0 victory, it may not have come as a shock.
But, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be celebrated after a barrage of misfortunes over the season’s first two weeks.
Losing Freddie Andersen, Sebastian Aho, and Brett Pesce, one standout player from each position group, all on the west coast road trip made for a rough six-game stretch. In fact, tonight’s game against the Sharks marked the first time Carolina led by two goals or more since their Oct. 17th victory in San Jose.
In the second night of a back-to-back, the Hurricanes were determined to cause chaos, but the kind that we look for on a nightly basis.
That chaos was guided by a pair of Finns and the return of Andrei Svechnikov.
Svechnikov skated out onto the ice in PNC Arena in a game setting for the first time in over seven months, as the 23-year old made his season debut on Friday. He recorded 13:40 of ice time and made sure that both the box score and those watching at home could see his impact.
“He was great,” said Rod Brind’Amour. “He looked like he hadn’t missed a beat. He’s the type of player that you notice every time he’s out there.”
Svechnikov recorded four shots on goal and three hits, the latter of which came from his desire to be physical.
“I love that [and] I missed that,” said Svechnikov. “I didn’t use that for seven months and that’s kind of my game.”
While he also tallied two penalty minutes, albeit on a poor interference call, and made his presence known on the ice, the reigning All-Star knows it’s a process and one game after seven months is not enough to return back to peak form.
“I didn’t play for seven months, right,” said Svechnikov. “I still have to get my confidence back and the feel for the puck.”
Playing on a team in which you’re surrounded by talent, that’s certainly doable, and a pair of Finns in Teuvo Teravainen and Antti Raanta made his return not only comfortable, but ensured it ended in a victory.
Teravainen scored all three goals in the 3-0 win, creating a downpour, or hurricane, of hats onto the ice after Seth Jarvis helped create nearly a carbon copy of the game’s opening goal in the third period.
If you're hatty and you know it raise your hands 🙌 pic.twitter.com/hchR0IYp8u
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) October 28, 2023
The 29-year old’s three-goal game marked the third of his career and the first since March 5 of last season. Through nine games, he has tallied seven goals and one assist, which puts him tied with Auston Matthews and Sam Reinhart for second in the NHL in goals scored.
While Teravainen found the back of the net for Carolina, Antti Raanta tallied a shutout on the other end of the ice, stopping all 20 shot attempts from San Jose.
It marked his first shutout of the season and improved his record to 2-1-0.
“He made a lot of saves. I don’t know what the shots end up [being], but very deceiving,” said Brind’Amour. “He made a lot of really quality saves and allowed us to kind of cruise tonight.”
With the victory, the Hurricanes move back over .500 at 5-4-0 overall, and record their second winning streak of the young season.
Their six-game road trip brought forth setbacks aided by injuries and adjustments with new faces, and Brind’Amour knows that especially after a night like tonight, there was no sense in freaking out.
“You look at the start [and] the wins weren’t there, but it wasn’t as bad as everyone was freaking out about,” said Brind’Amour. “Overall, [tonight] the effort was there. Tonight was more of getting the big saves when we needed it.”
As Raanta made not only the big saves, but every save, Carolina secured the sweep in a back-to-back and crossed the 10-point threshold.
A weekend break awaits before the Hurricanes hit the road again, as Monday’s contest in Philadelphia is the first of three straight games away from PNC Arena.