Hurricanes turn tables on Stars with special teams scoring barrage ending Dallas’ unbeaten streak
The Carolina Hurricanes did to the Stars what the Stars did to their opponents in four games.
A dominant power game and a tight defense ensured a 4-1 win for Carolina on Saturday at the PNC Arena. The Stars (4-1-0) tried to be the third team in franchise history to start at 5-0, playing their first real street game in almost 11 months.
Instead, Carolina (4-1-0) scored three power play goals en route to victory in the first of eight encounters with the NHL’s revised COVID-19 schedule – including two in a crucial 1:39 second half .
Little went right for the stars, who were out of shot between 26 and 11 and only managed two shots in the second half.
After the stars failed on their first four power play opportunities, Joe Pavelski hit the net in the third half. It was Pavelski’s fifth goal, four of them with the man advantage.
Goalkeeper Anton Khudobin allowed four goals in 14 shots before being replaced by newcomer Jake Oettinger in the middle of the second half. Khudobin had come into play with a 6-1-1 career record against the Hurricanes at 1.72 GAA and a savings of 0.939 percent.
Not even the return of strikers Roope Hintz (lower body injury) and Blake Comeau (COVID-19 protocols) could bolster the stars, despite Hintz taking a shot off the post in a power play.
With a two-goal lead, Carolina took full control of successive powerplay goals in the second half.
Andrei Svechnikov defeated Khudobin with a backhand in a hurry, followed by a goal from Ryan Dzingel from the right circle after a cross-ice pass from Martin Necas.
The stars were 2-0 behind after the first half. The Hurricanes converted two of their first four shots, with center Vincent Trocheck scoring both goals.
Trocheck scored 4:05 in the game when Necas scored a goal behind the net between defender John Klingberg and the post.
Then, when Klingberg was knocked out due to a malfunction, Trocheck hit a ricochet on the power game at 6:55 a.m.
Carolina was able to extend the lead despite losing two players.
Goalkeeper Petr Mrazek sustained an apparent arm injury after being hit by teammate Max McCormick early in the first half. He was replaced by James Reimer. McCormick later left the game after Comeau scored a tough hit against the end boards.
On the go again: The stars played their first real street game since March 5th in Nashville.
Then the NHL had a shutdown in the face of the pandemic and returned to the Stanley Cup Finals with the stars playing in the Edmonton Bubble. The Stars’ first four games this season took place at the American Airlines Center after an early four-game road trip was postponed due to COVID-19.
Yes, there is an adaptation with the stars supposed to play in Carolina on Sunday too.
“There’s nothing normal about this road trip,” said Bowness, chuckling. “It’s completely different from the bubble. The way the league has set up these back-to-back games is sure to help us all. Again playing in front of empty stalls and the limitations we have on what we can do outside the rink. …
“This is an unusual time of year as we all know.”
After a limited attendance at home, the stars played in front of an essentially empty PNC arena in Raleigh.
“If there are 4,000 fans, great. If there’s nobody, great, ”said Bowness. “The boys will play the game, approach the game as well. We played all these games in the bubble with no fans. We are used to it. We can fall back on this experience. “
Typically, NHL players are street fighters who are used to constantly changing. It’s a little different.
“It definitely feels weird to be out and about in general, take a flight and get into town,” said defender Jamie Oleksiak. “You just have to get into a routine. Here we are right now. You have to get used to it. “
Benn is still out: Captain Jamie Benn was eliminated from the Star lineup for the fourth year in a row with a lower body injury.
Bowness expects Benn to be ready when he returns from an impressive training camp.
“He worked so hard in the off-season,” said Benn. “He flew at training camp before the injury. When he’s back on the ice, we expect the same again. “
Bowness’ mantra: Bowness spent 15 seasons as an assistant before returning to head coach.
While the job title has changed, he says he hasn’t changed his approach.
“It’s the same. I know I’ve been around a long time,” said Bowness, who just turned 66. “You learn to just do things your own way. Every coach has their own way of doing things to deal with situations, one’s own personality, the most important thing you have to do is be true to yourself.
“I’m too old to change anyway.”
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