DALLAS - For the fourth time in as many games this season, the Carolina Hurricanes topped the Dallas Stars. A shootout was required to settle the score on Saturday night, and the Canes came away with the extra point in the 4-3 final, as the Canes won the second game of a two-game set on the road for the first time this season.
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Alex Nedeljkovic first turned aside Jason Robertson with his stick. Then, he poke checked Joe Pavelski, who scored the game-tying goal with 39.5 seconds left in regulation. Finally, Nedeljkovic denied Denis Gurianov and pumped his fists, as his teammates spilled over the boards to celebrate the victory.
"You've just got to focus and take it one guy at a time," Nedeljkovic said after his first win of the season and third of his NHL career. "You just have to react. You don't know what they're going to do or what they're thinking."
"They have some high-end players coming in on him, and he was right there with him the whole way," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "He was, I think, the difference in the game tonight."
In the second round of the shootout, Vincent Trocheck went forehand-backhand to beat Jake Oettinger, the deciding goal in the game.
Video: CAR@DAL: Trocheck scores shootout winner on backhand
"I've seen that a time or two. He's pretty good at it," Nedeljkovic chuckled. "That was something really nice to watch. It was special."
Salvaging the Second
The Canes' second period wasn't good until it was.
In fact, through nearly the first 17 minutes of the period, the Canes had put just two shots on Oettinger.
And then it all changed with a shift from the fourth line.
The Canes controlled the puck in the offensive zone, working it down low and then back up to the point where Jake Gardiner walked it in. He lifted his right skate as if he were going to fire off a wrister but instead caressed a pass to Jordan Martinook in the slot. Martinook turned his blade to send the puck on net, as it skittered along the ice, past Jordan Staal's screen at the top of the crease and through Oettinger's five hole.
Video: CAR@DAL: Martinook deflects a pass for a goal
"He got us back in the game," Brind'Amour said of Martinook. "We were kind of going nowhere in that game, and they got the tide changed for us. It was a huge goal."
Late in the second, at the conclusion of the Canes' second power play of the game, Martin Necas wired a gorgeous cross-ice feed to Teuvo Teravainen, who netted his first of the year on the one-time attempt, the puck roofed past Oettinger's bare blocker-hand attempt at snagging the frozen biscuit.
Video: CAR@DAL: Teravainen buries a shot with seconds left
"We weren't really clicking. We were a little off, but good teams find a way to win," Gardiner said. "Got us a few goals at the end of the second period that propelled us in this victory."
Plus: Jordan Staal
There's no stopping the run Jordan Staal is on right now, especially when he's being fed passes like the one Andrei Svechnikov put on his tape. On the power play in the third period, Svechnikov fetched a rebound below the goal line and circled around the back of the cage, then finding his captain open in the slot for the one-time finish.
Video: CAR@DAL: Staal hammers one home on the power play
The goal was Staal's second in as many games, and he now has 12 points (4g, 8a) in nine games since returning from the COVID-19 Protocol list.
Minus: Giving up the lead in the third
The Stars erased a 3-1 deficit in the third period to earn a point in the contest. Jason Robertson scored at the 8:22 mark of the third to bring the Stars within a goal. Then, late in regulation, an unfortunate sequence of events transpired, leading to the game-tying goal. First was a questionable penalty call on Svechnikov, who was given two minutes for roughing for nothing more than a heavy check on Justin Dowling. Then, on the 6-on-4 penalty kill, Sebastian Aho had a look at the empty net - or at least an opportunity to get the puck deep at the blue line. He instead attempted a pass, and the Stars took the puck the other way, where Pavelski fired the tying goal past Nedeljkovic.
"It was an intense game. They came out firing," Nedeljkovic said. "It's frustrating to give up two late goals like that, probably both of them honestly I'd like to have back."
But, hey, a win's a win, and the Canes are leaving Dallas with four of a possible four points from the series.
Jaccob Slavin Doing Jaccob Slavin Things
A 3-on-1 for the Stars? No problem for Jaccob Slavin, who raced all the way back down the ice to nudge Jamie Benn off the puck - and avoid taking a penalty in the process. Stick tap to Staal for the extra little speed boost.
9: The Canes have won their last nine shootouts, a streak dating back to March 2019.
18: With 18 points (9-3-0), the Canes are off to their second-best start through 12 games in franchise history.
1: For the first time in four tries this season, the Canes won the second game of a two-game set on the road (1-3-0).
Quote of the Night
"You look at the skill on our team. It translates pretty good to overtime and the shootout. You ask any guy in our room, and we want to finish it before that. … It's definitely nice to get that extra point. It's nice to have the skilled guys go out there and do their thing." - Jordan Martinook
It's (finally) time for the Canes to head home, where they'll play five games in eight days at PNC Arena.