TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - The Carolina Hurricanes earned their second win in as many days at the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, blanking the New York Rangers 4-0.
Jeremy Helvig posted a 19-save shutout, and Hudson Elynuik chipped in two goals as the Canes remain perfect through two-thirds of their round-robin slate.
"When you're winning it's fun to play hockey. They're getting along great," head coach Mike Vellucci said. "There's a lot of talent and skill, and when you win it makes it a lot more fun."
"The team played great defensively. They didn't give up a lot of grade-A chances, and it made my day pretty easy," Helvig said. "It was really good to play in my first Traverse City game, playing with all these future pros."
Video: Traverse City Tournament: NY Rangers vs. Carolina
Friday's first period was a bit scrambled and disorganized for the Hurricanes, who took advantage of limited offensive opportunities to take a lead to the locker room. Saturday afternoon's first period was much the opposite; the Canes were the team possessing the puck and controlling play with a 13-3 shot advantage. And again they held a lead after 20 minutes.
"It was a really good bounce-back," Elynuik said. "We got off to a quick start, and that was the message before the game."
"I thought we controlled the puck way better this game. We didn't give it away early on," Vellucci said. "We dominated the first period and out-shot and out-chanced them. We controlled the play. When you have skill and speed and the puck, it's a dangerous combination."
Janne Kuokkanen scored his second power-play goal in as many games, as he received a beauty of a centering feed from Nicolas Roy and banged it in the gaping cage.
"He's got a great release, and he knows how to get open, too," Vellucci said. "Nic Roy made a nice play there, too. He's such a good player net-front on the power play. They moved it around well. It's a great unit."
Video: Mike Vellucci: "They moved it around well"
Elynuik twice found the back of the net in the second period to stretch the Canes' lead to three goals. His first tally came after he gathered his own rebound in the slot and finished. Later, he put his shoulder down, drove the net and scored his second straight of the period.
"He's a power forward, and he has to play [that way]," Vellucci said of Elynuik. "He's 6-foot-5 and he can fly. He's got pull-away speed. If he can do that on a consistent basis, he's going to be a heck of a hockey player."
"I just wanted to be better than yesterday," Elynuik said. "I worked as hard as I could to be in the right spots at all times and play hard. It paid off."
Helvig, who was making his NHL Prospects Tournament debut with the Hurricanes, didn't see a ton of rubber, but he was sharp when called upon.
"For sure, a little bit [of butterflies]. To play my first game … it's great," Helvig said. "I'm happy to get the shutout."
Video: Jeremy Helvig: "Made my day easy"
"When it did get a little difficult, he held his ground. They have some quick jam plays, and his legs are strong," Vellucci said. "I thought he saw the puck really well and moved really good. He had a great game."
"I give them both credit. Yesterday Boother outstanding and Jer today got the shutout," Elynuik said. "It's a lot of fun watching them. The team has a lot of confidence when you have those guys behind you."
The Canes' penalty kill remained perfect in the tournament. The man disadvantage went 4-for-4 today, a mark that included a 6-on-4 kill late in the third period with the extra skater on the ice for New York.
"I think we pressured them quite a bit. We didn't let them set up at all," Vellucci said. "We've done a good job of blocking shots. That's key. And both of our goaltenders have played well. They're a big part of the penalty kill."
Video: Hudson Elynuik: "Good bounce back"
The Hurricanes will take the day off Sunday before returning to the ice on Monday evening to face the Blackhawks at 6:30 p.m., a match-up that will decide if the Canes will compete for their second straight championship.
"It's a good vibe in the room. When you're winning, it's always fun. We're all enjoying it," Elynuik said. "Day off tomorrow and get back at it Monday."
"The guys are bonding great. It shows on the ice with the two wins," Helvig said. "We've got to work hard and get ready for Monday."
2017 NHL Prospects Tournament
|DATE ||VISITOR ||HOME ||TIME (ET) / RESULT |
|Friday, Sept. 8 ||Hurricanes ||Red Wings ||6-2 |
|Saturday, Sept. 9 ||Rangers ||Hurricanes ||0-4 |
|Monday, Sept. 11 ||Blackhawks ||Hurricanes ||6:30 p.m. |
|Tuesday, Sept. 12 ||TBD ||TBD ||TBD |