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Recap: Canes End Road Trip With Win in Chicago

Darling makes 35 saves in his first victory of the season

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

CHICAGO - The Carolina Hurricanes jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held on to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3.

A three-goal first period helped propel the Canes offensively, while Scott Darling made 35 saves against his former team in his first victory of the season.

Here are five takeaways from the road trip finale.

One

Through 21 minutes and 20 seconds, the Hurricanes built a 4-0 lead on the road. They scored first, they got to their game and then they built on their lead.

The Blackhawks pushed back, as was to be expected, especially in the first game under new head coach Jeremy Colliton. But, the Hurricanes buckled down and held on to snap a five-game winless skid.

"It wasn't pretty at times, but it's also nice to play with a lead. To have that four-goal cushion is something we haven't really had all year," Calvin de Haan said. "We grinded it out and ended up getting two points. That's all that matters, especially on the road."

"I almost blew it there," Darling said with a tinge of self-deprecation. "Four goals is nice."

"Having a 3-0 lead, we sat back a little bit. That's human nature," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "They opened it up, but I really like the way the last 10 minutes went. We really hunkered down and got back to playing our game."

Two

In each of the three games on this road trip, the Hurricanes have fallen into first-period deficits and had to chase the game. That obviously has not been and is not a recipe for success, and it left the Hurricanes searching for how to rectify it.

The team responded with perhaps their best period of this road trip, as they tallied thrice to take a 3-0 lead to the locker room.

"It's great to score the first goal and not be chasing the game, which we've been doing a lot lately," Darling said. "It gave us some momentum."

It was Andrei Svechnikov who got the fun started. Corey Crawford gave up a juicy rebound on a shot from Jordan Martinook, and Svechnikov was at the front of the net to sweep the puck in as he fell to the ice.

Video: CAR@CHI: Svechnikov scores on an incredible effort

"He's taken a huge step this road trip," Brind'Amour said of the 18-year-old rookie. "I think he's realizing, even as a young kid, that he can control it out there against the men."

Then, it was the power play chipping in for the second straight game. As Justin Williams backed off the blue line to try to jam the puck home in the slot, Jaccob Slavin slid in from the point and banged in the loose change for his second goal on the man advantage in as many games.

Video: CAR@CHI: Slavin puts home rebound for PPG

This morning, Brind'Amour said recalling Clark Bishop and Phil Di Giuseppe and inserting them into the lineup would hopefully bring "a little more energy" and "a little spark." As it turned out, they brought that and more.

Phil Di Giuseppe tallied his first goal of the season at the 15:53 mark of what was a prolific first period for the Hurricanes. Justin Faulk won a board battle along the near wall to kick the puck out to Brock McGinn, who then found Di Giuseppe open for the snap shot labeled for twine.

Video: CAR@CHI: Di Giuseppe scores his first of the season

"We need that fourth line to be able to play and not just eat up minutes but be effective," Brind'Amour said. "Chipping in with a goal is huge. It was a great play by Ginner to move it over to him, but it was our forecheck that did it. The hard work of it paid off tonight for those guys."

Three

De Haan scored his first goal with the Hurricanes in the second period to make it a 4-0 score at the time, a goal that would end up being the game-winner. Teuvo Teravainen slid the puck down the boards to Sebastian Aho below the goal line, and Aho dished a no-look backhand pass right onto de Haan's tape in the slot for the goal.

Video: CAR@CHI: de Haan scores off nifty pass from Aho

"I saw the opportunity to jump in," de Haan said. "Fortunately, there was no one in front of me and no one covering me. Sebastian made a great play. Without a pass like that, the puck doesn't go in."

The goal was nearly a calendar year in the making for the defenseman who missed the second half of the 2017-18 season with a shoulder injury and last scored on Nov. 28, 2017.

Four

In his third game back from a lower-body injury suffered in late September, Darling scored his first victory of the 2018-19 regular season, as he made 35 saves on 38 shots against his former team. (This was also his second straight win over the Blackhawks, as he stopped 22 of 24 in Chicago on March 8.)

Video: CAR@CHI: Darling stops Toews to protect the lead

"Right now, I just want wins," Darling said. "It's been a long 6-7 weeks with the injury, then two losses and sharing the net. It feels good to get the first one."

"He was solid. One he'd like to have back for sure, but he looked pretty calm in there," Brind'Amour said. "We're going to need that position to be solid, so hopefully he moves forward with that and has another great start."

Five

The Canes are bringing home three of a possible eight points on this road trip. It's not the result they wanted, but they're not coming home empty-handed, either. And now, perhaps the team can use this victory on the road to springboard them into the upcoming six-game homestand.

"We're feeling pretty good about our overall game," Brind'Amour said. "There's lots I didn't like about that game, but in the end, the battle level was really good."

"The trip didn't go our way," Darling said. "Three out of eight points, but it's better than one out of eight."

Up Next

It's time to head back home to Raleigh. That's where the Hurricanes will play their next six games in a season-long homestand, which begins on Saturday with a match-up against the Detroit Red Wings.

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