With the Canes 5-4 overtime win in Arizona on Saturday night, the team has now won 4 of 5 games including both halves of back-to-backs each of the past 2 weekends with a single loss in the middle. The run is the team’s best stretch of hockey since it won 3 straight in late October.
The game was a good 1 with a ton of pace especially in a frenetic third period. Like the previous win, the Canes scored first, built a lead and converted it to a win. The first goal was another Justin Faulk blast that originally had him credited with a goal but was later changed to Kris Versteeg. When Andrej Nestrasil finished a nice Jordan Staal pass on the power play, the Canes had run out to an early lead and went to the locker room at the end of the first period up 2-0. A skilled finish by Phil Di Giuseppe on a nifty Jeff Skinner pass and Justin Faulk’s twelfth power play tally rounded out the Canes regulation scoring. Victor Rask rescued a win that almost got away with his overtime marker. It marked 4 consecutive games with 5 goals for the Canes suddenly thriving offense.
Who are these guys?
A few player and other notes:
Without any official announcement or fanfare, he has assumed the role of gaining entry to the offensive zone for the top power play unit and seems to be figuring it out quickly. He is developing a good knack for beating someone in the neutral zone if necessary and picking up some speed but still keeping his head up for passing options versus just skating a million miles per hour into a dead end.
His power play goal scoring is utterly astounding. As I said on Twitter after his goal, it is like he is shooting invisible pucks right now. There is credit to be given to Eric Staal and others for screens on some of the goals. There should be even more credit for his incredible accuracy and ability to hit corners regularly. But there is also an element of him just flatting beating goalies regularly right now; hence the invisible comment. Faulk also logged a big 27:23 in the second half of a back-to-back when Peters shortened the bench a bit late.
He had a more modest night on the score sheet with only a single assist, but it was an incredibly good assist and a good game for him overall continuing a run of strong play.
Max Domi and Anthony Duclair
Domi and Duclair were absolutely phenomenal. The duo had 5 points between them, but that might actually be an understatement relative to how dynamic they were and how much they created.
That is 2 huge overtime game-winners worth a point each for Victor Rask. With his own strong play and a boost by the Canes surging offense, Rask is second on the team in scoring and suddenly on a pace for almost 60 points.
Find a way and move forward
With the a 4-1 lead early in the third period, one would prefer a less exciting conclusion, but when you win both halves of a back-to-back on the road, I think you just take it and push forward.
Next up is a game in Philadelphia on Tuesday to wrap up the 4-game road trip.