A back-to-back set at home, beginning with a Friday night tilt against the Detroit Red Wings, puts a bow on a four-game homestand for the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes finished October with a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames, improving to 8-3-1 on the season and matching a franchise best for both wins (8) and points (17) in the month of October.
"The last couple, for sure, I think have been really solid 60-minute efforts for the most part. There's a hiccup here and there, but there are no real lulls in the game," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said after practice on Thursday. "I thought we were pretty consistent with the game plan, and the effort was certainly solid. Overall, pretty happy with the way it's gone."
With the Hurricanes trailing the Flames 1-0 in the third period on Tuesday, Andrei Svechnikov dipped into his bag of tricks to pull out what will likely be the goal of the season in the National Hockey League.
Svechnikov successfully executed a lacrosse-style goal, the first such goal scored in the NHL, scooping the puck onto his blade behind the net and stuffing it in the top corner.
Video: Svechnikov's Goal of the Year Candidate
"Not surprised at all. He's the guy that would do it, and he's capable of doing it," Dougie Hamilton said after the game. "Unreal to see it go in."
A short while later, Svechnikov scored another goal that turned out to be the difference: a more conventional hockey goal, a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that beat a screened David Rittich on the power play.
"He goes out his next shift and gets another one," Brian Gibbons shook his head. "Just Svech doing Svech things."
Petr Mrazek turned aside 28 of the 29 shots he saw on Tuesday to improve to 6-1-1 on the season and 5-0-0 at home. Mrazek has now won 11 consecutive regular-season starts (14 including playoffs) at home. Including the postseason and his perfect 5-0-0 record in Raleigh while he was with Detroit, Mrazek owns a career 25-5-1 record, 1.99 goals-against average and .930 save percentage at PNC Arena.
Video: Rod Brind'Amour: "Solid 60 minute efforts"
"He's been great," Brind'Amour said. "That's the whole key to everything."
Detroit posted a 4-8-1 record in the first month of the regular season and are just 2-7-1 in their last 10 games. The Red Wings finished October with a three-game homestand, during which they pocketed three of a possible six points. Earlier in the week, the Red Wings assigned Evgeny Svechnikov, Andrei's brother, to Grand Rapids of the AHL, again delaying the first NHL match-up between the two Russian siblings.
AT THE RINK
A South Plaza Party kicks off the evening's festivities at 5:30 p.m., and the weather should be perfect for a night of hockey. PNC Arena doors will open at 6 p.m., 90 minutes prior to puck drop.
WORTH A CLICK
WATCH, LISTEN & STREAM
Watch: FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports GO
Listen: 99.9 The Fan, Hurricanes app