RALEIGH, N.C. — Two well-publicized Carolina Hurricanes streaks continued Friday, with the team picking up its franchise-record 10th consecutive win while earning a point in a franchise-record 16th consecutive game.Perhaps equally impressive, though, is a streak not many people would have seen coming just a couple of weeks ago: Canes starter Antti Raanta extended his streak of minutes played without allowing a goal to 127:32, helping Carolina shut down the Florida Panthers in a 4-0 win at PNC Arena.Raanta's stretch of scoreless hockey began with 7:32 to play in last week's game against the Philadelphia Flyers, after he allowed a pair of short-handed goals in a 6-5 win. His next outing, on the flipside of the Christmas break, was a 3-0 shutout win over Chicago on Tuesday.And then there was Friday's effort.Not that the 'Staal Bowl' wasn't interesting enough on its own merit, but Raanta made it that much better with his 19-save effort, which included helping the Canes kill six Florida power plays — and withstanding a first-period collision that left the veteran netminder stunned, if only momentarily.Here are seven other takeaways from the Canes' final win of 2022:Powering upFriday's victory proved to be a coming out party for the Canes' previously stagnant power play.
Just 2 for 19 in the previous five games, Carolina scored three times with the extra skater against the Panthers.Prior to Friday's game, Carolina sat 27th of 32 teams in power play efficiency, clicking at just 17.5%. Even during the Canes' current streaks, the team's power play hadn't really been all that good.Perhaps facing Florida's 19th-ranked penalty kill was the medicine Carolina needed.Whether rebounds at the posts or shots from the circles, the Canes' power play looked dominant and determined. Stefan Noesen, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen all scored with an extra skater Friday, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi's third-period strike from the center of the slot came mere seconds after another power play had expired.Another strong startFor the third consecutive game, the Hurricanes have started a game with a lopsided advantage in shots on goal, momentum they've generated from the opening faceoff that gets its genesis from the starting line of Jesper Fast-Jordan Staal-Jordan Martinook.Friday, the Canes outshot the Panthers 12-3 in the opening frame.
Against Chicago on Tuesday, Carolina had 23 shots in the first period to the Blackhawks' seven, and against Philadelphia the game before that, the Hurricanes outshot the Flyers 14-5 before the first break.Scary momentAs if the Hurricanes' goaltending situation isn't precarious enough after a handful of 'tweaks' and 'minor concerns' to both Pyotr Kochetkov and Raanta in the past few weeks, Raanta stayed down on the ice for a bit midway through the first period Friday night after a collision with Florida defensman Aaron Ekblad.As Ekblad tried to create separation on a power-play rush, he was hooked from behind by Svechnikov and lost his footing, barreling into Raanta's right leg and pushing the keeper into the post, dislodging the net. Raanta stayed down for several seconds and eventually gathered himself to one knee. After a quick visit from the training staff, he deemed himself good to go.The Canes killed off the penalty to Svechnikov.Right place, right timeNoesen continues to prove his worth on the power play.
Just as the Canes began their abbreviated power play in the first, the puck squirted out to Sebastian Aho at the top of the left circle.Aho let the players in front of goalie Spencer Knight create some traffic before ripping a low, hard shot past the Florida keeper. The puck hit the post square and softly ricocheted back into the blue paint, where Noesen was waiting to slam it home.Noesen has scored three of the Canes' past seven power-play goals, and became the fourth Carolina skater to reach 10 power play points this season.Staal's well …For the 12th time in their careers, Marc, Eric and Jordan Staal skated in the same NHL game Friday. Jordan, of course, centers the Canes' shutdown line between Jesper Fast and Jordan Martinook.
Marc, a defender, and Eric, a forward, skate for the Panthers.In a pregame interview, Eric made sure to mention that with this being the 12th meeting, it was a good omen for him and his Panthers mates, given that he wears No. 12 for Florida.In all, the brothers have combined to play in 3,507 NHL games, with eight different teams over 19 seasons. The trio has racked up a combined 1,889 points.… that ends wellJordan Staal got the better of the brotherly matchup on this night.
Though he finished without a point, he was a force during the Panthers' six power plays, and skated valuable minutes in shutting down Florida's go-to scoring line.Sad to see it goThere's something fresh and exciting about ringing in a new year, but count the Hurricanes among those who don't want to see the current annum end.In 2022, Carolina was 55-19-13 in regular-season games (7-7 in the playoffs). The Canes' .707 points percentage was second in the calendar year only to Boston (.747).Svechnikov led the team with 39 goals, 78 points and 11 power-play goals. Aho led the team with 42 assists.Raanta and fellow netminder Frederik Andersen earned the Jennings Trophy at the conclusion of last season for having the league's lowest combined goals against average, the first tandem in franchise history to earn that honor.__LINK__ews & Observer.
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