Signings, Final Homestand, and Pre-Playoff Takeaways: Weekly Carolina Hurricanes Recap 04/01-04/07/2024

Hector Urica/InsideTheRink

RALEIGH, NC- After an intensive stint of games last week, the Carolina Hurricanes went into a temporary hibernation.

After a four-day rest period, the Canes emerged on a multi-day homestand, beginning with the Boston Bruins on Apr. 4. Poor defensive play by the Canes and errors marked the first period, as Bruins stars Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Danton Heinen capitalized to finish the first period with a 3-0 shutout. The second period broke the shutout, with Canes standout Jake Guentzel scoring on a Carolina powerplay. Carolina pulled goaltender Frederik Andersen during the third period, causing Boston to score an empty-net goal for the game to finish at 4-1. This outing was Andersen’s first loss since returning to play, breaking a 7-0 streak. Both teams are President’s Cup contenders. Furthermore, both teams are Eastern Conference standouts trying to make a deep playoff run.

The next morning, the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association’s Carolina chapter nominated Andersen for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

On Apr. 5, the Canes played the Washington Capitals at home. Carolina came back from a 2-0 deficit to win with a final score of 4-2. While Capitals icon Alex Ovechkin scored twice during the first period as he is on the hunt to reach the famous Gretzky record, the second period marked yet another Jake Guentzel goal for Carolina. The third period allowed the Canes to capitalize off the powerplay, and it delivered. Martin Necas, Sebastian Aho, and Guentzel again all scored during the period. Necas and Aho’s goals were powerplay goals, only growing Carolina’s PPG percentage for the year. Assists for the Canes were done by Evgeny Kuznetsov, Brady Skjei, Jaccob Slavin (twice), Jake Guentzel, and Jesper Fast. Carolina goaltender Pytor Kochetkov had several saves during the first period to keep the Canes in, and it paid off. This game officially made Carolina the only NHL team with a top-three penalty kill and powerplay percentage.

To finish the homestand – and as Carolina’s final home game of the regular season, the Columbus Blue Jackets stopped in Raleigh on Apr. 7. The game finished with a score of 3-0. Carolina left-winger Andrei Svechnikov scored the first goal seventeen seconds into the first period, despite being in a “slump year” returning from an ACL injury. Canes forward Sebastian Aho capitalized on this goal, scoring again in the first period. Period assists were credited to Jordan Martinook, Brady Skjei, Jake Guentzel, and Tuevo Teravainen. The second period remained scoreless, and the third was marked by Teravainen scoring again with a Jaccob Slavin assist. Goaltender Frederik Andersen marked the shutout, continuing his week with being the game’s first star.

In roster moves, the organization officially signed former UMass defenseman Scott Morrow to a three-year entry-level deal on Apr. 3. Morrow has practiced with the team, but his official Canes debut is still undetermined. The organization is expected to sign University of North Dakota forward Jackson Blake in the near future. On Apr. 6, Carolina signed forward Gleb Trikozov to a three-year-entry-level deal for the 2024-2025 season. On Apr. 7, the University of Maine left-winger Bradly Nadeau was signed to a three-year contract by the organization.

The Canes have been fairly lucky when it comes to injuries this season. On Apr. 4, center Jesperi Kotkaniemi was marked as a healthy scratch. Kotkaniemi was back on Apr. 5 and was again the healthy extra on Apr. 7. Right-winger Jesper Fast returned to the lineup on the same day after being on the IR for six consecutive games with an upper-body injury. Canes left winger Andrei Svechnikov did not play on Apr. 5 due to illness.

The Canes go into the upcoming week with a road stretch, finishing the regular season in Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, and Columbus. They have five games left before entering the Stanley Cup playoffs. They are currently sitting in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

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