The Canes “Survive and Advance”: Weekly Carolina Hurricanes Recap 03/10-16/2024

Frank Gunn, The Canadian Press/AP

RALEIGH, North Carolina: After last Saturday’s exciting win at New Jersey’s Prudential Center, the Carolina Hurricanes advanced onto a homestand at PNC Arena from March 10 to March 14, 2024. 

To start the week’s games, the Canes hosted the Calgary Flames for a Sunday matinee. The Canes took the win with a final score of 7-2. The Hurricanes took an early lead through left-winger Jordan Martinook and forward Sebastian Aho. Aho scored again at the first period’s conclusion. The second period marked a heavy impact for the Canes, as defensive player Jalen Chatfield, right-winger Andrei Svechnikov, and defensive player Brent Burns all scored a goal throughout the period. In the second period’s final seconds, Hurricanes center Seth Jarvis hit the franchise’s “twenty-goal club.” The third period had left-winger Tuevo Teravinen with a goal. Calgary’s goals came during the second and third periods. The first goal was scored by Dryden Hunt, and the second goal was scored by Yegor Sharangovich. 

Tuesday night served as a division rivalry – and possible playoff matchup – against the New York Rangers, also at home. The Rangers and Canes are ranked one and two, respectively, in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division. Fresh off of Matt Rempe’s four-game suspension for elbowing New Jersey defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler, the Rangers won with a final score of 1-0. Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin reported the shutout. The Canes had former Pittsburgh forward Jake Guentzel starting for the first time since the trade deadline. Prior to this game, Guentzel had been on the injured reserve since February 15.  

Thursday night faced another challenge for the Canes as they hosted the Florida Panthers. The Panthers and Canes were last year’s Eastern Conference Finals (ECF) teams, with the Panthers taking the series win and advancing to the Stanley Cup. The Canes last met the Panthers at PNC Arena on February 22, 2024. The Canes won that prior matchup with a score of 1-0 from an Aho goal. That game was also marked by a scuffle between teams in the last seconds of the third period. Thursday’s game was similar, with frequent penalty box trips for both teams. Within the first period, multiple fights between the Canes and Panthers broke out. This new Southeastern rivalry will likely be one to look out for in the next several years – both teams are elite and at the top of their game. The Canes won Thursday’s game with a 4-0 shutout. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first goal as a Cane during the second period. Guentzel received his first assist and point as a Hurricane during the game. Goaltender Frederik Andersen recorded the shutout. This was Andersen’s third game back from the injured reserve due to a blood clotting issue. 

After a short break, the Hurricanes played the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 16, 2024, at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. While this game lacked a forty-two-year-old Zamboni driver in the net, the game did celebrate Burns’s 1,400th NHL game. Burns is the fourth player in Whalers/Canes history to mark this milestone. While the first period remained scoreless, the second gained momentum. The Leafs scored three goals for the first twelve minutes. Leafs center John Tavares, right winger William Nylander, and left winger Nicholas Robertson each scored a goal during the second. The Canes counteracted by scoring two goals at the end of the period, one by Martinook and the other by Jarvis. The third period began with a Leafs goal by center David Kampf. During the last few moments of the third period, Aho scored his twenty-sixth goal of the season, and Jarvis utilized a Carolina powerplay to score a goal, forcing the game into overtime. Overtime forced itself to be a thrilling affair, as neither team scored during the first overtime, causing the game to go into shootouts. Prior to this shootout, Toronto had a 5-2 shootout record, while Carolina had a 1-4 record. The shootout required three rounds and ended with Jake Guentzel’s first goal as a Carolina Hurricane. With Guentzel’s goal, the Canes took the win with a final score of 5-4. This game amplifies why the Canes are often called “the Cardiac Canes” by fans.  

This week, the Canes signed goaltender Spencer Martin and forward Brendan Leimeux to a one-year deal. Both were claimed off of waivers by Canes GM Don Waddell. The Hurricanes also announced Friday that they had gained a sixth-round NHL draft pick with the Ottawa Senators, trading prospect forward Jamieson Rees. 

Canes forward Jack Drury remains on the injured reserve with an unspecified lower-body injury. Drury has been on the reserve since March 10 after being injured during last week’s game against New Jersey. After the Florida game, Teravainen joined Drury on the IR with an upper-body injury after a hit from Panthers’s Nick Cousins. Teravainen finished the win with 16:01 minutes of playing time and is expected to be out of the Canes lineup for the next few games. Canes coach Rod Brind’amour told broadcasters that Teravainen was also not feeling well and stated that he “doesn’t believe (Teravainen) will be out too long.” 

The Hurricanes will continue their road trip throughout next week as they head to Ottawa and New York for matchups against the Senators and the Islanders to start a new week of hockey as the Stanley Cup playoffs grow closer and closer. The Leafs game has given the Canes a learning curve for road games and playoffs. For the past several years, the Hurricanes have thrived at home and performed inconsistently on the road, especially during playoff season. Despite how the Canes have sixteen games left in the regular season and will likely make the playoffs, there is still concern about how the Canes will handle road games, tough opponents, and more shootouts. Raleigh sports icon, Jim Valvano, famously told his 1983 NC State basketball team that they needed to “survive and advance.” Valvano’s words echo true for the Canes. Their ability to survive phenomenal teams (Leafs and Panthers), even with the expectation of blown leads, is truly impressive. Their ability to advance onto challenges, such as shootouts, demonstrates the growth this team has shown in the past year. Survive and advance. If this mantra continues on, the Canes may be legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

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