The Carolina Hurricanes extended their winning streak to five games on Friday night at PNC Arena, overcoming a very slow start to beat the Calgary Flames 6-3.
Brady Skjei stayed warm in 2022, scoring one goal and collecting three points for his second big game to open the new year. Andrei Svechnikov added two goals, while Frederik Andersen kept Carolina in the early game with great saves. Derek Stepan, Tony DeAngelo and Jesper Fast also scored goals.
After the victory, Carolina head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Svechnikov, Fast and Skjei spoke to the media via Zoom.
Here’s what they had to say:
On getting the win after a slow start: I kind of thought it was going to happen. We played a very good team that plays fast and hard. We were coming out of this long break. As much as you talk about it, you have to be in the rhythm. It just took us a while. Freddie kept us in the game during that first half, and we were lucky to come out 1-1 for sure.
On the success of the penalty kill: We expect to kill a penalty. You’re not going to kill them all. You’re gonna have a bad bounce and they’re gonna have a good play. Tim [Gleason] did a great job stepping in and putting his mark on it. The guys really took it to heart. They are very proud of it. We had some breakdowns and our goalie made some big saves. But that’s a crucial part of the game, especially in a game like tonight where if they get one on the power play, it’s a different game.
On the objective of Fast which opens things: We said that all week and before the game. It’s another thing to go out there and experience it. It’s not even that we were slow, we just weren’t up to it. It was a turning point. It was ‘ok, we are not playing very well, but we are not down’. The second half was the exact opposite. He totally rocked, and we kind of had our legs. I thought it had been taken from them during the entire period. It was the difference in the game, for me. We were able to capitalize on our opportunities in this second period.
On Skjei’s offensive production and the escalating guys: This is what we must have. We need everyone. We talk about it all the time. If we want to be that team that we all expect to be and want to be, everyone has to contribute. Brady can skate, shoot. It’s not really surprising to me that he’s able to do that. Obviously, you don’t expect it to happen at this rate. But if you really watch his game, he still has chances to score pretty much every night because he always comes in really well.
On the rust and on if they just shook it off: Of course, we were a little rusty because we haven’t played for five days. Of course, we feel it. You are not in good shape. And of course, the first half was not our best. But thank goodness we came out in the second half and I think we played a good game after the first half.
On him to score goals: Yes, always when you score you become more confident. It hasn’t been lucky for me the last 10 games probably. I tried to shoot, but it wasn’t right. Thank goodness I scored a few goals today. We will see from there.
On Andersen’s play in the first period: For sure. If you watch Freddie every game, he’s the best player on our team. When they go to our net you always know Freddie is going to save him. Nice to have him here for sure.
Shorthanded by picking it up: Yeah, I have to stop taking penalties. That’s for sure. I’ve been good with it lately. Today I just broke my stick and I couldn’t do anything. I don’t know, maybe I shouldn’t hold it a bit. I have to stop to take penalties. I just have to stop doing this for sure.
Why the penalty kill is so good: I just feel like we’re on the same page. Everyone knows what to do. We’ve been keeping the same duets for a long time, so it’s easy to read each other. This is a difficult work. We’ve been on a good roll so far. Special teams are very important at the moment. We just have to continue to be good in these situations.
On his goal at the end of the first period: Freddie was exceptional in the first half. I had the impression that they were overtaking us. It is not acceptable to allow 21 shots or anything in the first half. We were happy to have a 1-1 game after the first period.
On his goal of opening things up: You always get energy after scoring a goal. Especially during this time when we also needed a goal. It allows us to regain our confidence and move our legs a bit more because I felt like we were standing still with a lot of turnovers in the first half. Like you said, I feel like we became a little different team after the first half there. We really deserved the lead we got in the second half.
On if the key arrives just in front of the net: Yes, this is where you score a lot of goals. I’m just trying to put my body in front. Today I was lucky to have a stick on the puck and a good rebound. Just try to be in the right areas.
On the penalty frustrating the Flames: Sure. You want to kill as many seconds as possible. If you can keep the puck that’s great. A few shifts there [Jordan Staal] and [Sebastian Aho] hold the washer. If you kill the next 20 or 25 seconds, that’s cool.
On the net looking wholesale for him right now: It looks good. I obviously had some really nice looks throughout the split. I just had the chance to take advantage of these opportunities. Hopefully I can keep finding those spots and putting the puck in the back of the net.
On if we can expect one goal per game from him: No. No. I would love. We’ll see how long it lasts, but I would say the betting odds that it lasts are pretty low. We will see but no.
On what makes the penalty so good: I just think everyone is on the same page. Obviously the goalie is a big part of it, and Freddie has been amazing for us. Everyone seems to be on the same page, working hard, walking into lanes so they don’t have Category A shooting lanes. It feels good. We must continue. So far, to start the season, we’ve been doing very well on the penalty kill.