Raanta’s 2nd straight shutout helps Hurricanes beat Panthers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Antti Raanta made 19 saves for his second straight shutout and the 17th of his career, and the Carolina Hurricanes scored on three power plays for their franchise-record 10th consecutive victory, beating the Florida Panthers 4-0 on Friday night.
Stefan Noesen, Andrei Svechnikov and Teuvo Teravainen had the power-play goals and Jesperi Kotkaniemi posted the team’s fourth goal just 10 seconds after another man-advantage situation expired.
“It’s nice to have a night like that,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We haven’t really had one of those really all year, capitalizing on the power play. The special teams won us the game. You’ve got to have that clicking, it wins you games.”
Brett Burns and Seth Jarvis each had two assists as the Hurricanes extended their franchise-best points streak to 16 games.
“What I really like about this stretch is we haven’t had any really dips in our game,” Brind’Amour said.
The Panthers, who were blanked for the first time this season, have lost four of their last five games. Florida was coming off a season-high seven goals a night earlier against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Hurricanes have registered a league-high five shutouts.
“They don’t give you a whole lot of easy ice, so there’s not a lot of inside plays,” Panthers coach Paul Maurice said. “But we tried to find them.”
Raanta, playing for a fourth straight game, faced only three shots in the first period. In the third period, the Panthers didn’t put a shot on goal for eight minutes. He shut out the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
“Try to make the save one at a time and obviously guys are playing well in front of me so that helps,” Raanta said.
The season-high three power-play goals came after the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes had a total of two goals on power plays in their previous five games. Carolina ranked 27th in the NHL on power plays entering the game.
“We’ve been struggling all year to get that going,” Kotkaniemi said.
The Panthers were 0 for 6 on power plays after scoring three times on power plays Thursday night. Florida hasn’t won two games in a row since its first two games of December.
“We got to learn how to fight,” Maurice said.
Panthers goalie Spencer Knight made 30 saves.
It had been exactly a year since the Hurricanes managed to post three power-play goals in a game.
“We know how important it is,” Brind’Amour said. “We got our opportunities, they went in. It doesn’t always work that way.”
Noesen knocked in a rebound of teammate Sebastian Aho’s shot 7:05 into the game. Aho’s assist gave him his first point in three games since returning from a seven-game absence with an injury.
Svechnikov’s team-leading 19th goal came at 4:58 of the second period. About seven minutes later, Teravainen scored his third of the season.
Combined with goalie Pyotr Kochetkov’s shutouts in consecutive games earlier this month, the Hurricanes became the first NHL team in seven seasons to have two goalies with shutouts in back-to-back games in the same season.
Raanta needed brief medical attention when he was banged up in the crease in the first period. That incident didn’t seem to faze him.
“There were a couple bumps on the goalie. One was pretty hard,” Brind’Amour said. “It’s nice to see he got through it.”
Of Noesen’s eight goals, five have been the first goal of a game for Carolina. … The four-goal margin matched Florida’s most lopsided defeats of the season. … In the 2022 calendar year, the Hurricanes finished 56-19-13 in regular-season games. Carolina went 12-0-1 in December.
Panthers: Host the New York Rangers on Sunday.
Hurricanes: At New Jersey on Sunday.
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