Cary, NC – Young Andrei Svechnikov led the Canes to a much-needed 3-2 shootout win over the San Jose Sharks in a game that was highly entertaining from the first drop of the puck. The Canes played the top team in points two nights before, losing 2-0 in a game that was 0-0 with about five minutes to go.
After the Bruins trounced the Canes last spring in the playoffs, the Canes really wanted that game and playing as well as they did but going away with no points was hard, so bouncing back with a win was what the doctor ordered.
Svech Scores in 50 Seconds
Well before many were in their seats, the Canes got on the board after only the second shift in the game. Warren Foegele got beat in the near-corner but kept ragging Radim Simek from behind and used his tenacity and grit to steal the puck back then make a great centering pass to Svech. After receiving the puck, Svech used his body to shield the puck, went across the crease, putting a magnetic backhander in the upper right corner for a pretty goal. In the Boston game, Svech had a similar play that I knew was going in, but he hung onto the puck too long, sailing it over the net and wasn’t going to make the same mistake two games in a row.
Kudos to Foegs for staying with the puck and getting it back, on what may have been his best shift of the year, which is impressive as he’s been playing excellent hockey of late. Shortly after the goal, the Sharks had a partial 3-on-2 but Haydn Fleury made a great defensive stick intercepting a pass which could have been trouble for Petr Mrazek in net.
However, a few shifts later with a pile-up along the near boards in the Canes’ end, Jake Gardiner got caught flatfooted after the Sharks won the puck, getting it over to big Joe Thornton on the far side. Marcus Sorensen came away from the boards in front of Gardiner and was alone with a wide open net as Big Joe returned the cross ice pass for an easy goal.
The Canes regrouped getting the puck deep with the first line on the ice. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen had excellent passing back and forth, resulting in a one-timer by Turbo that went right into Aaron Dell’s glove without moving his arm. A little lift on the puck and Turbo puts the Canes up by one.
Late in the period with Seabass and Turbo back on the ice, they again had great passing with Turbo getting off the shot and this time slammed a worm burner that Dell easily blocked with his pads flat on the ice. Erik Karlsson on the Sharks was outstanding all game. His skating is something off the charts along with his play making abilities, especially when he joins the rush which is unfortunately all too often. Behind the play, like Jaccob Slavin or Brett Pesce, his anticipation of the next move of the puck is scary.
Gardiner Makes Amends With Pretty Goal
Early in the second, Pesce, who likewise is playing the best hockey of his career, joined the rush and nearly put the Canes up when he hit the metal with the puck bouncing to the boards. As the Sharks retrieved the puck, it was a 2-on-1, but Ryan Dzingel turned on his jets and got back in time to help stop the short handed attempt. Dougie Hamilton was the lone defender and was able to make a good block but knowing DZ was digging back to help out was what the coaching staff would like to see.
Just over the halfway mark of the period, Fleury cleared the puck around the boards up to Svech along the Canes’ blue line, tipping it over to Gardiner. Gardiner carried the puck over the Sharks’ blue line passing to Foegs on the left wing who completed the give and go back to Gardiner for a pretty slap in for his second of the season.
With just under 18 seconds left in the period, Erik Karlsson had the puck to the near side of the offensive faceoff circle, dangling and lingering around for a decent pass. He found Logan Couture on the right point, threading a pass right to his stick with Couture sending a slap shot into slight traffic but finding the net to tie the game. Those goals against near the end of a period are a big concern for the Canes.
Svech Pots Shootout Goal For The Win
The Sharks had most of the play in the third and the chippiness started to have its effect. Thornton became public enemy #1 when he went into Mrazek well after a play, with Mrazek slashing his stick at Big Joe without making contact but Big Joe landed a right to Mrazek’s mask with all 10 skaters grabbing and tussling behind the net.
Big Joe got a double minor while Mrazek got a minor for slashing but the Canes couldn’t muster any shots on net during the man advantage. Overall in the period, the Canes were on their heels a little too much for Rod Brind’Amour’s liking but fortunately Mrazek was spot on for the entire period. With Mrazek showing some emotion, which is a good thing, the Sharks tried ways to get under his skin with more than one unnecessary snow shower going his way but Mrazek, maybe with the snow showers, kept his cool.
The game ended in regulation at two apiece sending it into overtime. Jordan Staal won the opening faceoff and, as planned, led the ice for Aho to join Turbo and Slavin. The Canes stepped up their attack in the OT with getting more shots in that five minutes than they did in the entire third period. The OT’s exciting and entertaining but like the regulation time, ended in a draw yielding to the shootout. Young star Svech was the only shooter to put one in the net allowing him to bookend goals for a nice win.
Next game is Saturday, December 7, 2019 against Minnesota and Eric Staal. It’s Star Wars night with free posters and special Bunch of Jedi shirts for sale. Be there!