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Recap: Mrazek, Hurricanes Shut Out Avalanche

Mrazek makes 38 saves in his fourth shutout of the season

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

DENVER - Petr Mrazek stopped all 38 shots he faced to lead the Carolina Hurricanes past the Colorado Avalanche, 3-0.

Andrei Svechnikov scored a pair of goals, including an empty-net tally late, and added an assist, while Dougie Hamilton's second-period marker was the difference.

Here are five takeaways from Monday night in the Mile High City.

One

It was Feb. 1, 1994, when the Hurricanes franchise last won a road game in regulation against the Avalanche franchise.

It was so long ago, in fact, that it was the Hartford Whalers topping the Quebec Nordiques, 2-1.

Not that any of that matters, but it's been that sort of go-against-the-grain, rewrite-the-record-books type of season for the Hurricanes, who have now equaled last season's point total (83) in just 69 games.

"Everyone is enjoying it. We're winning. Everyone is dialed in. We're all focused. The coaches have us prepared. Everyone is coming to the rink focused," Hamilton said. "The leaders are leading. Everyone is being vocal and energized."

"There's a level, a standard the room expects every night, and that's to win," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "In order to win, you have to play a certain way and compete a certain way. That's what we're getting night in and night out, for the most part."

Two

Colin Wilson is going to be seeing Mrazek in his nightmares.

Mrazek made a trio of big stops on Wilson in the third period alone, just a sampling from his 38-save collection that earned him his fourth shutout of the season.

In the first minute of the third with the Avalanche buzzing, Wilson hit a seam at the blue line and was in alone. Mrazek stoically blockered away the shot to preserve his team's 1-0 lead.

Mrazek's best save of the game - one for the highlight reels, for sure - came in the back half of the period. Wilson had an initial shot saved on a 2-on-1 rush before Carl Soderberg laid off the rebound for him. Mrazek got just enough of the puck with first his right pad and then his stick to swipe the puck out of harm's way, stunning the crowd at Pepsi Center.

Video: CAR@COL: Mrazek robs Wilson with amazing stick save

"A little bit of an athletic save maybe," Mrazek said. "I just tried to get there with my pad and stick."

Not too long after, Mrazek made a point blank save on Wilson, who found a soft spot in the slot.

Third time is not the charm.

Mrazek made 35 more stops throughout another sparkling performance in between the pipes.

Video: CAR@COL: Mrazek stones MacKinnon twice

"That was special. I haven't seen some of those saves in a game," Brind'Amour said. "Petr has been solid all year."

This, from the goaltender who signed a one-year deal with the Hurricanes on July 1 in an effort to prove himself in the NHL.

He's certainly done that.

"Mrazek was unbelievable," said Hamilton, who "bowed down" to Mrazek as the horn sounded.

"We wanted this game because of him," Svechnikov said. "He made some great saves and played an amazing game."

Three

In the absence of Micheal Ferland, Svechnikov has taken to the left wing alongside Jordan Staal and Teuvo Teravainen.

It's a big jump for the 18-year-old rookie, and he's responded with a more physical game and a three-point performance on Monday.

"He's been really good the last few games," Brind'Amour said. "He's a competitor, too. He's getting better and better."

Hamilton said he'll take credit for Svechnikov's three-point effort. Why?

"I told him to change his knob on his stick. He changed it, so there you go. What can I say? Right before the game. Before warm-up. I'll take credit for that," Hamilton smiled. "And we hung out yesterday, so we'll have to do it more."

Svechnikov confirmed that he did, indeed, change the tape on the knob of his stick.

"It worked," he laughed.

Svechnikov's first goal was a thing of beauty, the result of a passing sequence that was a thing of beauty. Teuvo Teravainen sent the puck cross-ice to Justin Faulk. He gave it back to Teravainen, who then dished down low to Svechnikov for the backhand finish in the slot.

Video: CAR@COL: Svechnikov finishes pretty passing play

Four

It took just 29 seconds for Hamilton to extend his NHL-best shot streak to 234 games with a simple wrist shot from the point. His teammates banged their sticks on the boards in amusement.

More important was Hamilton's contribution on the score sheet in the second period. Just past the midway point of the game, Hamilton started a breakout in his own zone, joined the rush and finished the sequence with a sniper of a wrist shot, glove-side high on Philipp Grubauer.

Video: CAR@COL: Hamilton goes top shelf on Grubauer

"I head-manned it to Svech and just tried to beat my guy up (the ice). He got tripped. I wanted to pick it up, but Willy passed it to me in the middle," Hamilton explained. "I realized I had some time with the forward playing D. … Their guy kind of backed off, so I just shot it. It's just instinct at that point."

Five

Calvin de Haan has been on the receiving end of two nasty high sticks this season, and the latest is certainly a concern.

Alexander Kerfoot's stick, on a follow through, got under de Haan's visor, catching him in a dangerous place. De Haan left the game and was taken to the hospital for further evaluation.

"We hope he's going to be OK," Brind'Amour said.

Up Next

The Hurricanes will return home before heading to Columbus to square off with the Blue Jackets on Friday.

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