Svechnikov scores in shootout, Hurricanes beat Devils 5-4
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Andrei Svechnikov scored the shootout winner and Antti Raanta made 24 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes edged the New Jersey Devils 5-4 on Sunday for a franchise-best 11th straight win.
The Hurricanes are 15-0-2 in their last 17 games and haven’t lost since Dec. 6 when they fell 4-3 at Anaheim in overtime. Carolina’s previous defeat in regulation time was Nov. 23.
Raanta improved to 10-2-2 this season. The 33-year-old Finnish netminder had shutouts in his previous two games at home, 4-0 against Florida and 3-0 over Chicago.
“Great battle from the whole team,” Raanta said. “We keep playing the same way. We don’t change what is working.”
Both goaltenders made sterling saves in overtime including New Jersey’s Mackenzie Blackwood denying Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin on a breakaway after the teams combined for five goals in a wild third period after Carolina led 2-1 after the second. Blackwood made 43 saves.
“At the end of the day, that was a good two points,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We’ll take it.”
With the team’s playing four-on-four, New Jersey’s Jesper Bratt scored his second of the game and 14th of the season from between the circles at 13:48 of the third. That put New Jersey ahead 4-3 but Carolina’s Martin Necas knotted the contest for a fourth time with a power-play goal, his 16th goal this season at 15:32.
“We always know we have a chance to come back,” Raanta said. “Today was a great example of that. We made the game 4-4, battled through overtime and got the win in a shootout.”
Hurricanes forward Derek Stepan had scored his second goal of the contest and fourth of the season at 8:04 of the third to give Carolina a 3-2 lead but Devils captain Nico Hischier knotted the score 34 seconds later with his 16th goal.
Bratt had tied the game 2-2 at 6:15 of the third, beating Raanta from the left circle after Carolina entered the third with a 2-1 lead thanks to Sebastian Aho’s shorthanded goal late in the second.
“We’re not satisfied with one point,” Bratt said.
Aho intercepted a mishandled clearing attempt by Blackwood and easily scored his 12th goal into the vacant net at 18:14.
Devils coach Lindy Ruff said Blackwood’s ability to make several key saves after his misplay was important in helping New Jersey push the game to overtime.
“I give him a lot of credit for keeping his composure,” Ruff said. “We got a point, we’d like more. Every point is crucial.”
Stepan had scored his first goal eight minutes into the second, finishing off a two-on-one rush to break a scoreless tie. The 32-year-old former Rangers forward is in his second season with Carolina.
New Jersey’s Jack Hughes tied the contest at 16:18 of the second, sliding a backhand past Raanta for his team-leading 21st goal. Dawson Mercer and Erik Haula assisted.
The Devils were coming off a 4-2 road win at Pittsburgh on Friday.
New Jersey is 2-7-2 in their last 11. They play six of their next eight games on the road, where they are 13-2-1.
NOTES: The victory was the 199th win for Hurricanes coach Brind’Amour. … Carolina won the first meeting this season, 4-1 at home on Dec. 20. The teams meet again Jan. 10 in Raleigh, North Carolina, and March 12 in Newark … The Devils were without injured defenseman John Marino and New Jersey also scratched forward Alexander Holtz and defensemen Tyler Wotherspoon and Nikita Okhotiuk … The Hurricanes scratched defenseman Dylan Coghlan.
Devils: Visit Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.
Hurricanes: Visit New York Rangers on Tuesday.
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