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Necas’ Overtime Winner Earns Himself New Nickname



Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, Martin Necas

Letting Martin Necas control the puck, or even get a touch, in overtime is a recipe for disaster for opposing teams, or at least it seems that way.

The hockey world was once again reminded of that on Tuesday.

Necas redirected a pass attempt from Sebastian Aho past Ukko-Pekka Luukonen with 3:30 remaining in the overtime period, as the tip-in guided Carolina to a 3-2 victory over Buffalo.

For Hurricanes fans, it was a sense of déjà vu, as the overtime score marked Necas’ second this season and ninth of his career. His four during the 2022-2023 campaign were a single-season record and he trails only Sebastian Aho (10) for the most overtime goals in team history.

It is unequivocally false to say that Necas has won every overtime contest for the Hurricanes and almost impossible for Necas to do to so in the future, but it still feels as if he’s either scoring or assisting on every one of Carolina’s extra session victories.

This season, Necas has recorded a point in all three overtime wins, including two goals and an assist. The Hurricanes only overtime contest to not be won with the impact of Necas, a shootout victory against Los Angeles, featured a game-extending score by the 24-year old in the shootout.

After Tuesday’s game-winner, which marked his second in 12 days, it appears that Necas has garnered himself a nickname from Rod Brind’Amour.

“Roddy called him Mr. Overtime so I think he’s earned that name. He scores every time,” said Brady Skjei, who tallied a secondary assist on Necas’ score.

A fitting nickname for Necas was aided by Carolina’s performance down the stretch, including a risky poke check save by Antti Raanta, who amassed 20 saves on the night, and a timely penalty kill.

With 10:00 remaining in regulation, the Hurricanes’ goaltender made a split second decision to come out of the net, preventing a potential one-on-none chance for Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt. The Sabres were less than a minute removed from tying the game on Rasmus Dahlin’s score and seemed to be on the verge of another high-danger look.

But, Raanta’s heroics didn’t stop there, as he followed up the poke check with a diving save in the right circle just seconds later to keep the game knotted at two.

For Carolina, that sequence would not be the only testy stretch, as a tripping call on Jordan Martinook with 3:48 remaining could have set Buffalo up for a perfect chance to steal a win on the road.

Instead of allowing their second power play score of the contest, the Hurricanes’ penalty kill turned in their best performance of the night, as the Sabres were unable to record a single shot attempt during the two minutes.

Overtime would follow, as a first period goal from Tony DeAngelo and Brady Skjei’s then go-ahead score in the third frame accounted for Carolina’s two goals in regulation.

Both Skjei and Aho were on the ice for and recorded points on the Hurricanes’ final two scores. For Aho, it marked his seventh point in the last six games, while Skjei reached double digits with his 9th and 10th points of the year.

Riding a two-game winning streak, Carolina will hit the road once again, as they travel to the Sunshine State to take on the Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning in back-to-back fashion beginning on Friday.

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