Hurricanes out to avenge recent loss to Avalanche

The Carolina Hurricanes are off to another good start, but coach Rod Brind’Amour has sensed the need to win on a more consistent basis.

The next opponent for the Hurricanes knows how to get that done even though they have similar records this season.

The Colorado Avalanche, the reigning Stanley Cup champions, visit the Hurricanes for Thursday night’s game in Raleigh, N.C.

“We needed a win,” Brind’Amour said of his team’s most-recent outing, which ended with a 3-0 victory at Chicago. “I don’t think we were great, but we were good enough.”

So confidence might be restored, but it could be short-lived if the Hurricanes aren’t up to the next task. This is a rematch of Colorado’s 4-1 victory Saturday night in Denver. That outcome gave the Hurricanes losses in three of four games.

“We needed to get our game back on track,” Carolina captain Jordan Staal said.

The Avalanche dropped a 3-2 home decision to the St. Louis Blues on Monday, ending a four-game points streak. This outing in Raleigh will mark the beginning of a three-game road trip.

“I think everybody is stepping up and creating new roles for themselves,” Colorado defenseman Cale Makar said. “We’re going to need that obviously if the injury bug continues to hit us here.”

Makar said the Avalanche were good enough to win the St. Louis game and those things have a tendency to even out over time.

The Avalanche are hoping to get more from center Alex Newhook, who has three points (two goals, one assist) in 14 games.

“We go over numbers, where he stands, what we need to see from him,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “We’re solution based. It’s my job to help Newhook be an impactful player.”

Makar could be a key player, based on his two goals in last weekend’s game against the Hurricanes.

Staal’s line has provided a boost for many Carolina games. Staal has scored a goal in three consecutive games, giving him four for the season.

“You want to be able to count on the guys you throw out there in all situations,” Brind’Amour said. “That consistency is really the key.”

The Hurricanes might have a choice to make after goalie Pyotr Kochetkov secured his first NHL shutout in Monday night’s victory at Chicago.

“He’s just so focused on game days,” Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov said. “He’s dialed in on every moment and trying to enjoy it. He has got sound skill and he’s going to be good here for a long time, for sure.”

Brind’Amour said he’s trying to manage the minutes of defenseman Brent Burns, who’s in his first season with the team.

The Hurricanes have reassigned defenseman Maxime Lajoie back to Chicago of the American Hockey League after he played for Carolina on Monday night.

Colorado went 1-2-0 in a road trip last month to Eastern Conference cities.

The Avalanche recalled forward Anton Blidh from Colorado of the AHL as part of what has been a lineup shuffle depending on available personnel.

–Field Level Media