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The Carolina Hurricanes split their home back-to-back set this weekend, defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-0 on Friday, before falling 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks yesterday.
Against Ottawa, the Hurricanes put together a solid opening frame to go up 2-0, but did get into some penalty trouble as the game went on. Antti Raanta had to be good as a result, stopping 32 shots, but thanks to quite a few near misses from Ottawa and the Hurricanes’ penalty kill going 5-for-5, Carolina held on for a 4-0 win.
Then yesterday against the Ducks, the Hurricanes completely dominated. After a scoreless first period, Carolina outshot Anaheim by a 40-8 margin through the back two periods. The Ducks finally opened the scoring late in the second frame though and the Hurricanes just weren’t ever able to catch up in the third period. It was another situation where Carolina had all the opportunities, but just couldn’t capitalize, and marked the Hurricanes’ second loss against Anaheim this season.
Despite their winning streak coming to an end against Anaheim, it’s hard to fault the Hurricanes in the loss, just not being able to convert on their chances. They outshot Anaheim by a massive 53-15 margin and the effort was there.
Carolina still has a solid lead for top spot in the Metropolitan Division, remaining up three points on the New Jersey Devils with a game in hand. It seems like it’s probably between the two teams for top spot in the division at this point, with the New York Rangers quite a ways back.
At the same time, with the addition of Vladimir Tarasenko and what seems like an imminent trade for Patrick Kane, the Rangers look like quite a threat within the division now. You have to wonder whether such major additions could influence the Hurricanes’ decisions a bit before the trade deadline. While the Hurricanes didn't end up getting Timo Meier (and it appears he'll be heading to a different Metropolitan Division team in the Devils), it would be surprising if we don’t see any addition. With other teams loading up, Carolina needs to make sure they have the pieces in place to contend against anyone in the league come playoff time.
They’ll be back in action on Wednesday, when they face the Vegas Golden Knights.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM FEBRUARY
Hurricanes are Cup contenders, but do they need to add before the deadline?
Hurricanes take down Blues to extend winning streak