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Recap: Canes Score Thrice Late to Top Avalanche

Slavin nets game-winning goal, Reimer makes 27 saves

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

DENVER - The Carolina Hurricanes scored three goals in the final three minutes of regulation to best the Colorado Avalanche, 3-1.

Andrei Svechnikov tied the game with 2:56 left to play, and just 77 seconds later, Jaccob Slavin scored the game-winning goal. James Reimer made 27 saves on 28 shots to help the Canes collect nine of a possible 10 points on their five-game road trip.

Here are five takeaways from the Canes' road trip finale.

1. 60-Minute Game

For 57 minutes and four seconds, it seemed like Philipp Grubauer was going to blank the Hurricanes in the final game of their road trip. He had the answer for everything they threw at him.

And then, the Canes got one. And then another. And then an empty-net exclamation point.

"Man, I tell you, that's an honest, great team over there, and we just found a way to outlast them," Reimer said. "The cliché of a full 60 minutes, it's there for a reason. Tonight, we just battled and battled and stuck with it and battled and grinded and were able to find a way at the end."

Two points to add to the collection, a nine-point, five-game road trip for the first time in franchise history.

"I can't say enough about these guys, really. We just dig in. All year, really. Even when we've had bad periods, we always seem to bounce back. We were having a good game. We just couldn't get out of the box. That's what was killing us, but the guys stuck with it," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "Pretty impressive win."

2. Svech Ties It

Just as the game was a grind and a battle, so was the shift from Jordan Staal, Warren Foegele and Andrei Svechnikov that resulted in the latter scoring his 15th goal of the season to tie the game at one with 2:56 left in regulation.

Svechnikov, positioned at the front of the crease, hopped on a loose puck and tapped it in.

Video: CAR@COL: Svechnikov ties it late for Hurricanes

"It's just a belief, you know what I mean?" Reimer said. "You never know what's going to happen."

The Canes had finally solved Grubauer and had life.

"We were pushing pretty good. We had some good looks in the third," Brind'Amour said. "We were getting ready to pull the goalie and all that, and then bang one home. That changed the complexion."

3. Slavin Wins It

Jaccob Slavin used to play on Pepsi Center ice as a mini-mite during intermissions of Avalanche games.

Now, he's playing in the actual games, and, in front of "lots of family," he scored the game-winning goal just 77 seconds after Svechnikov tied the game.

After a solid defensive play below the goal line in his own zone, Slavin helped turn the puck the other way. He jumped into the rush up the ice as Jordan Martinook fed Lucas Wallmark with a stretch pass. Skating into the zone with numbers, Wallmark sauced a pass to Slavin on the right wing. Slavin took a brief second to settle the puck before burying his shot past a sliding Grubauer.

Video: CAR@COL: Slavin wires home go-ahead goal

"I saw a chance to jump," he said. "Wally got it on my tape, and I just tried to shoot it as hard as I could."

The game-winning goal in front of family and friends. Hometown hero for the Canes.

"It was fun to do that in front of them," Slavin smiled.

Sebastian Aho added an exclamation point late with his fifth empty-net goal of the season.

4. Reim Stoppers

James Reimer was arguably the Hurricanes' best player on the ice all night. He was their best penalty killer. He was the reason the Avalanche had a donut on the board heading into the third period.

It looked as if Reimer might be the tough-luck loser, even with the impressive dossier of 27 saves on 28 shots he had assembled. Three goals in three minutes later, he earned his third straight victory.

Video: CAR@COL: Gardiner flashes hand-eye after Reimer save

In his last seven starts, all of which have come on the road, Reimer is 6-1-0 with a 1.57 goals-against average, a .950 save percentage and two shutouts.

"He's been playing unbelievable. He's been great on this whole road trip," Slavin said. "If it wasn't for him, it could have been a lot worse out there."

"You don't want to get beat," Reimer said of his goaltending dual with Grubauer. "You could tell he was feeling it tonight."

He was, but so was Reimer. And so were the Canes.

5. Nine-Point Trip

Two countries. Six cities. Five games. Eleven days. Some 7,000-odd miles.

And nine of a possible 10 points (4-0-1).

"All in all, a pretty great trip," Brind'Amour said.

Indeed.

"We're building something: The way to play and understand how we have to play as a team to be successful," Brind'Amour said. "That's important."

The Canes blazed through Western Canada and Colorado and will now enjoy a jovial flight home.

"It was a long trip. We're all looking forward to getting back to our families," Reimer said. "It will be a fun airplane ride home."

Up Next

Time to head home! Briefly, at least. The Hurricanes host the Florida Panthers on Saturday and then travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs in a Monday matinee prior to the three-day holiday break.

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