The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Washington Capitals, 5-1, to win their third consecutive preseason game.
Jaccob Slavin scored a goal and recorded two assists and was named the first star of the game. The Hurricanes have outscored their opponents 15-3, en route to their first 3-0-0 start in the preseason in team (since relocation) history.
Here are five takeaways from tonight's game.
Another preseason game, another victory for the Hurricanes. It might not count just yet, but the Hurricanes are playing like it does.
That's a good habit to build for when the regular season begins.
"From the top down, just pounding it into our head that we need to work hard every time we're out there. It starts with effort," Jordan Martinook said. "To a man, every guy has been giving it this whole camp. It's definitely good to see."
"The guys who are competing for jobs, the guys we want to see step up were really good. That's what you want to see," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "They're hungry and making a real case for themselves. That's great."
Video: CAR vs. WSH: CAR wins 5-1
One of those guys is Warren Foegele, who finished the night with a pair of assists. He's also a shorthanded weapon.
In his first professional season with the Charlotte Checkers in 2017-18, he tallied four shorthanded goals and six points. Tonight, his heady play helped set up Martinook's shorthanded tally that gave the Canes a 3-1 advantage. Braden Holtby played loose with the puck, throwing it up the boards to where Foegele was forechecking. Foegele got a quick shot off, and Martinook was ready in front of the net to bang home the rebound.
"Heads up play by Foegs to just get it to the front of the net," Martinook said. "I originally wanted to tip it when it was coming, but then I left it. Kicked it to my stick and had an open net, pretty much."
"He was working hard there bringing a lot of pressure," Foegele said. "He forced their goalie to make a bad pass, and I saw him at the net. I tried to pass it to him. Fortunately, it hit the goalie's pad, and he jammed in the rebound."
On the same kill, Foegele's aggressive killing nearly led to another goal, as he stripped a Capitals defenseman of the puck behind the net and nearly scored on a wrap around.
"I'm a pretty aggressive player, and I like to play hard," Foegele said. "In this system, we get to play hard."
Foegele is among the group of young, talented players competing for a limited number of spots with the big club. He had a two-game stint with the Canes near the end of last season and scored in each of those two games.
That gave him a taste of the NHL. Now, he wants more, and he's showing why he deserves it.
"I want to make this team," he said. "I'm going to try to play my game. Everyone here, we're working hard."
"He knows he's one of those guys we're looking at, and he's playing like it," Brind'Amour said. "That's what it's all about right now."
The power play picked up right where it left off on Wednesday, when three of the team's six goals were scored on the man advantage. On the first power play of the game, Slavin worked the puck from the point down to Andrei Svechnikov at the half-wall. The 18-year-old Russian then delivered a pass to the tape of Valentin Zykov in the slot for the bang-bang goal. And with that, the Hurricanes had the early 1-0 lead.
Slavin chipped in with a power-play goal of his own in the third period, when he slid in from to the point to pounce on a loose puck and roof it on the backhand.
On the other side of the special teams coin, the Hurricanes were a clean 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.
"We killed up ice," Brind'Amour said. "We blocked shots. We're doing things this time of year that some guys don't necessarily want to do, but our guys are doing it. It's a good sign."
Petr Mrazek's second outing was again sharp like his first. He played a full two periods before exiting, having made nine saves on 10 shots. Through nearly 70 minutes of preseason work, Mrazek has seen just 19 shots - is that enough?
"Well, for me it certainly is," Brind'Amour joked. "For him, I don't know. He's looked good from day one, and he looked good again tonight. Just real calm in there. The one goal he had zero chance on. It was a breakdown on our part."
After a scheduled day off on Saturday, training camp continues for the Hurricanes on Sunday. The next preseason game is set for Tuesday night in Nashville.
"We're getting down to it now a little more. I still think there's a game or two that we can experiment with what we do," Brind'Amour said. "We've got a couple spots that are open, and we've got to figure out who is going to be the best fit and who is going to earn it."