Martin Necas was exhausted after playing overtime against the Ottawa Senators. But he mustered up some energy and scored with only 40.1 seconds left on the clock to give his team, the Carolina Hurricanes, a 3-2 victory! “I was super tired when I saw how little time was remaining,” said Necas “so I wanted to get out there and do something. Fortunately, my body found some extra energy and I was able to help us win.”
Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Brady Skjei each scored one goal, while they both also assisted another goal for the Hurricanes team. Despite giving away a two-goal advantage earlier, the Hurricanes kept their three-point lead in the Metropolitan Division. Stefan Noesen helped his team by assisting two goals as well.
Antti Raanta made 25 saves which was impressive enough to make him improve his overall win-loss record to 18-2-3! This was also Carolina’s 50th victory of the season.
Claude Giroux and Brady Tkachuk scored for Ottawa, with Alex DeBrincat helping them out by assisting two more goals.
Leevi Merilainen had a disappointing start to his NHL career, even though he made 34 saves. The 20-year-old from Finland managed to stop all 21 shots during the second and third period, giving Ottawa a chance. His coach D.J. Smith praised how advanced his skills were, saying that Leevi seemed “really calm” and showed good performance. In overtime, Martin Necas attempted to do a wraparound but lost control of the puck. He didn’t give up though!
Seth Jarvis passed the ball to Necas, who made the game-winning shot. This was Necas’s fourth overtime goal, which made him an NHL leader.
Rod Brind’Amour, coach of the Hurricanes said that Necas has a special skill set for scoring because he moves quickly and is able to shoot well. He also said that Necas loves playing in dramatic moments.
It was a smart move for the team to give Necas another chance in the extra session. Coach Brind’Amour said it’s almost like those players all of a sudden get their energy back in overtime because they really want to be out there playing again.
Necas has set a personal record with 27 goals, but his win in overtime marked his first goal since late January. Even though he knew this, Necas chose not to think too much about it.
Carolina was looking great in the opening period. Kotkaniemi scored his 16th goal of this season only 1 minute and 50 seconds into the game.
Skjei’s power-play goal came near the end of the first period which gave him 18 goals; this is as many as any defense player for Carolina team has ever scored in its 25 years of history there.
Giroux took a great pass from DeBrintcat and he got his 27th goal when unimpeded towards the net.
The Hurricanes tried to score a goal during a time where they had more players on the field than usual, but couldn’t. Then, the Senators scored their first goal in three games when Tkachuk got one into the net tying the game up at 2-2.
Raanta has been winning 8 games in a row and has kept getting points for 17 straight games with the Hurricanes. He thinks that each successful game encourages him to do better on his next try.
“When I do well in one match it makes me even more confident for my next one,” Raanta said.
Hurricanes coach Brind’Amour said they will have to make a decision on who they want their goalie to be in the playoffs. Frederik Andersen has won 20 games, which is the most on their team. Giroux has scored a lot of goals against Carolina – 14! Tkachuk has also scored 9 goals during his last 12 games. Whenever the Hurricanes score first, they are really good at winning – they are 32-3-4 when this happens. Later, the Senators will play Florida on Thursday to complete their three-game trip.
The Nashville team will go on a three-game trip starting Thursday. You can find all the details about this NHL news at the websites https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://www.twitter.com/AP_Sports.