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Three shots, three goals. Bing, bang, boom, like the express A train.
The Canes needed just 141 seconds to score three straight goals on their fourth, fifth and sixth shots in the first period and establish a commanding 3-0 lead.
Morgan Geekie kicked off the scoring fun on the power play with his first goal of the season. Geekie got his blade on a point shot from Jake Bean to redirect a bouncing puck past Pekka Rinne. The goal was Geekie's first of the season and first since scoring in his first two NHL games over a calendar year ago on the Canes' final road trip before the 2019-20 campaign was paused.
Video: NSH@CAR: Geekie tips Bean's shot in for PPG from slot
A short while later, with strong play along the near boards, the Canes were able to thwart Nashville's clearing opportunities. Jordan Martinook whacked a puck back into the zone, and Warren Foegele gained control of the bouncing biscuit after Nashville fanned on a D-to-D exchange. Foegele dished the puck across to Brock McGinn for the one-timer, his eighth of the season that, in 26 games, surpasses his goal total (7) from 68 games a season ago.
Video: NSH@CAR: McGinn hammers one-timer home from circle
On the very next shift, just 16 seconds later, Andrei Svechnikov put his shoulder down to drive the net. He circled around back of the cage, and Jordan Staal attracted attention from Ryan Johansen in front. Svechnikov spotted Dougie Hamilton sneaking in untouched and put a centering feed on his tape for the one-time finish.
Video: NSH@CAR: Hamilton scores 16 seconds after McGinn goal
"We were pretty opportunistic tonight, especially early," Reimer said. "Didn't really give them a sniff. That's what you want to do."
Geekie had last played an NHL game with the Canes on Feb. 11. In the time since, he made the most of a brief AHL stint when he recorded five points (4g, 1a) in two games with Chicago and earned AHL Player of the Week honors. He's had to be patient, but his opportunity to draw back into the Canes' lineup was going to come one way or another.
"Some days are better than others, but the organization has been great, and my teammates have been great," Geekie said. "I was just going out there every day trying to get back in the lineup and do what I can."
With Vincent Trocheck unavailable due to injury, Geekie stepped in and put in a performance like it was March 2020.
Geekie's second goal of the game, also a power-play tally, came in the second period, as a rebound from a shot he put on Rinne bounced off the skate of Mattias Ekholm and in.
Video: NSH@CAR: Geekie scores second PPG of game
"You don't expect that type of performance, but we needed it, and we're going to need it moving forward," Brind'Amour said. "We've got a lot of key guys out, and everybody has to step up a little bit. Morgan did tonight for us."
The Canes power play is clicking at another level. The Canes converted on all three of their power plays tonight and have scored on the man advantage in seven consecutive games. As of typing this sentence, the Canes now own the top-ranked power play in the league that's converting at a remarkable 32.2%.
When 5-on-5 play is often so tight, special teams can make a difference in the game, and it's doing just that for the Canes right now, even when injuries force their lineup and their power-play units to be so fluid.
"You hope it shows we have a lot of good players and depth. Obviously we need it right now," Brind'Amour said. "It's not ideal. You'd like to have your full group, but not many teams in the league do right now. That's just the way it is. … You're going to have to have depth to be successful this year."
After being held off the scoresheet on Tuesday, the NHL's Third Star of the Week found the back of the net for his fifth goal of the season on the Canes' third power play of the game. Necas turned his stick in the slot to redirect a perfectly placed puck from Svechnikov, and the puck dribbled through Rinne to put the Canes up 5-0 4:38 into the third period.
Video: NSH@CAR: Necas deflects Svechnikov's pass in for PPG
Reimer was ever so close to recording his first shutout of the season until Nick Cousins got Nashville on the board with 4:32 left in regulation, but Reimer still finished with 32 saves on 33 shots (.970 save percentage) in his fourth consecutive win and 12th of the season.
"There's going to be adversity, and you're going to be missing big players. It's a matter of who wants it more or who wants to play their game better," Reimer said. "Tonight, we came out and got a couple ones early and took it over for the last 40. We played our structure really well, and that's what it takes. When you're missing guys, you have to play your game."
7: The Canes have won seven games in a row for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
7: The Canes have scored on the power play in seven straight games, and in four of those games, the team scored multiple power-play goals.
7: With a goal and an assist, Dougie Hamilton is now riding a seven-game point streak (1g, 8a), the longest point streak by a Canes player this season.
Quote of the Night
"My dad's birthday is in March. You can attribute it to that, I guess." - Morgan Geekie on if March is his favorite month, given that he's posted six points (5g, 1a) in three career March games
The Canes hit the road for two games in Detroit on Sunday and Tuesday before beginning a stretch of four straight games against the Columbus Blue Jackets.