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Recap: Canes Top Islanders for Fifth Straight Win

Carolina off to best start in franchise history (5-0-0)

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

The Carolina Hurricanes are off to their best start in franchise history after earning their fifth straight victory in a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders.

Dougie Hamilton and Andrei Svechnikov each recorded a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, who are now 5-0-0 for the first time in franchise history.

Here are five takeaways from Friday night at PNC Arena.

1. Winning the Day

Just over a week into the 2019-20 regular season, the Hurricanes sit atop the NHL standings with an untarnished 5-0-0 record. It's the best start in franchise history, but to the Canes, that milestone is just another road sign on their longer journey.

"It's awesome. We just try to stay in the moment and not get too high or too low. Right now, it's going good for us," Hamilton said. "We've just got to keep working and keep focusing day-by-day."

"I just like the way the guys are coming to work every day," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "The 5-0 is kind of irrelevant. We're trying to win the day. That's the mentality these guys have had."

Video: Storm Surge after NYI

The Canes secured their fifth consecutive with five goals and another speedy and dominant performance.

"I'm not complaining about anything. I thought, from start to finish, we were ready to play," Brind'Amour said. "The guys dug in. We had a couple moments on the penalty kill you'd like to have back, but all in all, it was a good effort by everybody."

2. Teach Me How to Dougie

"Teach Me How to Dougie" echoed throughout PNC Arena after the horn signaled the end of the second period, an apropos soundtrack for the game and start to the season that Dougie Hamilton has produced.

With a goal and an assist, Hamilton now has seven points (3g, 4a), ranking tied for the most points through five games by a defenseman in franchise history.

"Feeling good right now, getting a good opportunity and just trying to make the most of it," Hamilton said.

Hamilton helped the Canes get on the board first early in the first period. Skating in on a 2-on-1 with Teuvo Teravainen, Hamilton sold the shot hard, dishing over to Teravainen through a couple of reaching sticks at the last moment for the easy tap-in. The goal extended Teravainen's season-opening point streak to five games (2g, 4a).

Video: NYI@CAR: Hamilton, Teravainen connect on the rush

"I was shooting the whole way, but you've got to pass when it's that easy," Hamilton laughed.

The Hurricanes' defenseman then stretched his team's lead to two goals in the last minute of the second period with a shot that he fired home from just above the right circle.

Video: NYI@CAR: Hamilton slings Niederreiter's pass home

"He's a good player. He's feeling it. He's confident. It's great to see," Erik Haula said. "He has that offensive mindset. He's getting good looks and supporting the rush. He's using his shot, which is one of his strengths."

3. Svech Is Ready

After he scored 20 goals in his rookie season, many wondered if Andrei Svechnikov could cross the 25-goal mark or perhaps even tickle 30 in his sophomore campaign.

He certainly still has the potential to do that, but how's seven assists in the first five games of the season? That's tied for the league lead.

Svechnikov recorded his seventh assist when he set up (noted goal-scorer?) Brett Pesce's second goal in three games, which gave the Canes a 2-1 lead in the first period.

Video: NYI@CAR: Pesce wires a wrister by Greiss in tight

"It was a great play by Svech. I kind of saw they were a little scrambled, their forwards. I saw Svech got the puck," said Pesce, who was roaming around down near the goal line. "He made a great play, and I found the net."

The 19-year-old Russian forward added to his team-leading point total with an empty-net goal late to seal the victory.

Video: NYI@CAR: Svechnikov pots empty-netter to seal win

"He's a complete player. He's getting there. I give a lot of credit to him and his commitment and Jeff Daniels, who works with him daily," Brind'Amour said. "I still think there's another level for him to get to that he's capable of. He's been really good."

4. Haula!

Through the first five games of the season, Erik Haula is the Hurricanes leading goal scorer. His fourth was an aggressive, goal-scorer's move, as he handled the puck along the near wall before cutting to the front of the net and chipping the puck past Thomas Greiss. That goal broke a 2-2 tie in the last five minutes of the second period, and from there, the Canes rolled to victory.

Video: NYI@CAR: Haula puts home his own rebound in tight

"I thought they were pressing quite a bit there. Just grinding down low and saw a little chance to get to the net," Haula said. "The puck went in. It's nice to play with the lead and have the lead going into the third."

When the Hurricanes acquired Haula this summer, they knew they were adding an offensive talent that had finishing ability. The 28-year-old Finn is certainly showing that early.

"I set the bar high for myself. I have high expectations," he said. "I just try to go out there, do my part and try to chip in any way I can."

"We saw this when we wanted to go get him," Brind'Amour said. "He's really digging in at both ends of the rink, which is obviously what we love. He's getting results right now and getting rewarded for his level of play. He's been great from day one."

5. Gauthier Makes NHL Debut

Typically, the starting goaltender leads his team out at warm-ups and the start of each period. It's a little different, though, when there's a player making his NHL debut.

So, to lead off warm-ups, Julien Gauthier walked out of the room, stepped onto the ice and took a lap by himself ahead of his first career game in the NHL.

Welcome to the show.

Gauthier finished the night with two shots attempts, two penalty minutes and a faceoff win in 8:23 of ice time.

"He was OK. I didn't get him out there as much as I would have liked," Brind'Amour said. "I thought he had a couple little rushes there that looked like he almost could have broken free. I think that was a good introductory NHL game for him."

Up Next

The Hurricanes are right back in action at home on Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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