Cary, NC – The Carolina Hurricanes won their first home game of the season in a wild, and very entertaining game, 8-5, on Sunday, October 7, 2018 at the PNC Arena against the NY Rangers. The blue shirts always have a bunch of their own fans at these games which made the atmosphere in the stands that much more interesting.
Foegele, Martinook Tie the Game
This wasn’t a game either coach would like, except Rod Brind’Amour liked the outcome, with all the defensive let downs. The Canes left Petr Mrazek out to dry too many times with open net goals with no back door coverage several times.
The Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey scored with just 49 seconds gone on the first blown coverage by the Canes. A quick look at the bench saw RBA glaring at the players on the ice and sure he was making a mental note on what didn’t happen. Just over four minutes later, the blue shirts scored again on only their second shot when the Canes dallied on a clear, Brett Howden stole the puck sending it to a cutting Chris Kreider who buried it for the 2-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Jordan Staal was doing some impressive forechecking in the offensive end, then sent the puck down low to Justin Williams. Willie settled the puck sending a hard pass through the crease with Warren Foegele slapping it in to cut the lead, 2-1.
Five minutes later, after a partial line change, Willie again had the puck down low and saw Jordan Martinook charging the net. Willie hit Nook’s tape who sent the puck to the back of the net with a purpose knotting the game at two apiece.
Both teams and the fans could sense this was going to be a game filled with scoring.
Staal and Ferland’s Turn to Tie the Game
Vesey again scored early to put the Rangers up by one at the 2:48 mark. The game started to get a little chippy with the Rangers taking three penalties and the Canes taking four. Staal tied the game after Foegele did a nice job digging for the puck along the boards, feeding Staal coming down broadway putting the shot top shelf.
With Calvin de Haan in the box for a holding call, the Rangers’ Pavel Buchnevich got the powerplay goal for the 4-3 lead. Late in the period the Canes were forechecking in the O-zone. Teuvo Teravainen kept the puck in the near corner but was double teamed and turned it over.
Justin Faulk got a stick on the clear by the Rangers slowing the puck. Michael Ferland taking Faulk’s position at the point, snatched the puck and in effect just threw it at the net which found the top left corner to tie the game once again.
Canes Finally Take and Keep the Lead
The Rangers’ Chris Kreider got his second of the game early in the third to put the Rangers in the lead for what turned out to be for the last time at the 4:26 mark. The Canes won the ensuing faceoff and took the puck into the Rangers end. Martinook had the puck along the far boards tossing it in the high slot seeing Lucas Wallmark cutting to the goal. Wallmark was ready for the pass and buried it to tie the game for at five a side.
A little over five minutes later, the Canes fourth line was on the ice. Faulk had the puck and as he does so well, sent a hard shot into traffic. Rookie Andrei Svechnikov was skating circles around his defender, as he was crossing the far side of the goal about 12 feet out, Svechnikov deflected he puck right to the goal to give the Canes their first lead of the night. Willie got his third assist of the night on Foegele’s second goal of the game to give the Canes a cushion with their first two-goal lead. Teravainen added an empty netter, powerplay goal to finish the scoring. Very exciting and entertaining 8-5 win.
After the game ended, Willie gathered the team at the north blue line with each player applauding and bouncing sticks on the ice then skated hard to the south end jumping on the boards to the delight of the crowd. This team is creating its new identity and one that will bring back fans to seats.
Next game is Tuesday, November 9, 2018 against former Canes, Brandon Sutter and the Vancouver Canucks. Be there!