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Recap: Slavin Wins It in Shootout

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

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→ Shootout wizard Jaccob Slavin pulled his patented move out of his bag of tricks to lift the Carolina Hurricanes over the Washington Capitals, 3-2, in the skills competition. Lee Stempniak and Noah Hanifin netted goals in regulation for the Hurricanes, who finish the preseason with four wins and points in five of seven games.

"In the regular season, that'd be two points and that's all we want to do, get two points every night," Slavin said. "Whether it's a grittier win or dominating all game, it's just good to get that feeling going and the confidence up."

"It's a long year, but I'd rather win games than lose games in the preseason," Hanifin said. "It was definitely important to end on a winning note."

Video: Slavin wins it for Hurricanes with SO goal

→ Forehand, backhand, roof is Slavin's go-to shootout move - and it works. But the second-year defenseman says that's not all he's got.

"I have a couple tricks in the bag," he said with a wide smile, "but that's one I like to do."

"We kind of knew what he was going to do there in the shootout. I hope he has more than that one move because that's going to grow old around the league here in a while," head coach Bill Peters joked. "So maybe I'll have to use him every three months."

Slavin was the Canes' fourth shooter after Jeff Skinner and Teuvo Teravainen scored on two of the Canes' first three shots.

"It's a different skill level on this group from years past, I believe," Peters said. "There's six or seven guys in the conversation for who you want to go to next."

Video: WSH@CAR: Slavin roofs backhander for shootout win

→ Sophomore defenseman Noah Hanifin played what was likely his best game of the preseason. He helped create the Canes' first goal, as he skated below the goal line and popped it out to Jordan Staal, who fired to Lee Stempniak for the game's first goal.

"I like him everywhere," Peters said of Stempniak. "He's a guy who you can count on for 15-20 goals, and he knows how to play."

In the third period, Hanifin accepted a cross-ice feed from Victor Rask, stepped up and ripped a shot through Braden Holtby and in to give the Canes a 2-0 lead.

"I kind of made Holtby drop a little bit, because I think he was expecting a shot quicker," Hanifin said.

"I thought Noah skated real well tonight. He was dangerous," Peters said. "I thought he played real well."

Video: WSH@CAR: Hanifin's slap shot eludes Holtby for PPG

→ Defenseman Justin Faulk left the game early in the second period and did not return to the game. Official word was a lower-body injury. Carolina's defensive picture is already interesting considering Ryan Murphy is likely shelved for 3-4 weeks, but the prognosis for Faulk sounds fine.

"I don't think it's anything serious," Peters said. "I just think he had a little bit of general soreness, so we took him out for precautionary measures."

→ In his final preseason game, Phil Di Giuseppe made sure he left a lasting impression on the coaching staff. Di Giuseppe leveled Taylor Chorney behind his own net with a heavy, legal check in the second period. In the third period, Matt Niskanen challenged Di Giuseppe, and he answered the bell. Di Giuseppe, still with one glove on, caught Niskanen square in the face with a bunch, and Niskanen's visor left quite the bloody remnant on his own cheek.

Di Giuseppe said that was likely his first fight of record. Assessment?

"My face is intact, so …" he said with a wry smile.

→ Third-period goals from John Carlson, on the power play, and Zach Stanford forced extra hockey. With the Hurricanes down to five defensemen and at one point down a forward in Di Giuseppe, the Capitals pushed back and took advantage of the home team's short bench.

→ And that does it for the preseason. The Hurricanes will now have four days of practice and one off day before hitting the road to Winnipeg to begin the 2016-17 campaign.

"I think it's definitely coming together really well. We're starting to get pieces in pace, guys are starting to click with each other and some chemistry is being built," Slavin said. "I can't wait. I can't wait to just get going."

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