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Despite the loss and its impact on fading hopes for the Hurricanes’ 2016-17 season, Sunday night’s game in Pittsburgh was a big winner for personal achievements.
With his strange goal for #17 that saw the puck go off the end boards, off the goalie’s back and in, Justin Faulk set a new career high with 17 goals. And in stealing Elias Lindholm’s goal, Jeff Skinner tied a career high with 33 goals.
Below is a quick list of potential career bests or milestones within reach for Hurricanes’ players in the last 4 games of the season.
Hurricanes 2016-17 individual player milestones
Justin Faulk: It would take a big surge, but a quick burst to 20 goals would be impressive for a defenseman. Requiring less heroics, 4 points in 4 games would get him to 40 points on the season for the second time in his career.
Jeff Skinner: Skinner needs 1 goal to set a career high, 2 points to reach 60 for the first time since his rookie season and 6 points to set a career high.
Sebastian Aho: Aho needs 2 points to reach 50 in his rookie season which would be a nice milestone.
Victor Rask: It would take a last week surge of 6 points to set a new career high with 49 and of course 7 to hit the 50 mark.
Lee Stempniak: Stempniak is 2 points shy of reaching 40.
The Hurricanes have been incredibly healthy this season, especially in the top half of the roster. Players still capable of playing in all 82 games this season include Sebastian Aho, Victor Rask, Lee Stempniak, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce and Joakim Nordstrom (6 players). An 80-game club would also include Teuvo Teravainen and Noah Hanifin who each missed a single game as a healthy scratch during a Bill Peters’ shake up.
The team itself
The Hurricanes need 3 points i their final 4 games to reach 87 points. That total would better the 2015-16 total and be the team’s best since collecting 91 points in the 2010-11 season.