Now that the Carolina Hurricanes are finally gearing up for another home game, they want to keep the type of intensity that worked so well the past couple of weeks.
“You win, everybody is going to be feeling good,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “I know we’ve won a few here and it’s nice.”
Next for Carolina is a visit from the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night at Raleigh, N.C.
The Hurricanes are 6-0-1 in their last seven games, including 5-0-1 during their just-completed road trip.
“What you can’t do (is say), ‘OK, we’re going home and it’s going to be easy,'” Brind’Amour said. “We’re really going to have to fight that. We haven’t played much at home, especially for a long time. We still have to make sure we’re taking care of business.”
The Kraken have lost four of five games, the exception coming with Sunday’s 5-2 win at Florida. That’s the only time this month that Seattle has managed to score at least three goals in regulation.
“No issue with mental toughness whatsoever,” Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said. “If you’re questioning the mental toughness of our group, you’re dead wrong.”
The Hurricanes are back home for a game for the first time since Nov. 26. Carolina is returning to the ice following a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday and 1-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.
That gave Pyotr Kochetkov three shutouts on the season, tied with Alex Nedeljkovic for the second most in a single campaign by a Hurricanes/Whalers rookie netminder.
“That’s the biggest takeaway, just how solid he has been through this whole stretch,” Brind’Amour said. “The guys love playing for him. That’s pretty clear.”
Given that Kochetkov is on a roll, he is expected to get the call against Seattle. He played in all six games of the road trip, a notable development considering that no Carolina goalie had played in more than two consecutive games all season until Kochetkov appeared in four straight beginning in mid-November.
The Hurricanes won 5-1 on Oct. 17 at Seattle, with now-injured Frederik Andersen in the net for Carolina.
Seattle dropped a 6-2 decision at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night to fall to 1-2-0 on a road trip that wraps up at Raleigh.
“We worked hard and had some decent spurts,” Kraken forward Jaden Schwartz said.
More consistency might bode well for the Kraken.
“Our group pushed back pretty good throughout,” Hakstol said. “When you take a minute or two to take a breath (it will cost you).”
It all has come together lately for the Hurricanes. Their goal in the Detroit game came from defenseman Brady Skjei on a power play.
“We have some really elite players that we can rely heavily on,” Skjei said. “When guys chip in that aren’t usually goal scorers, it obviously helps the team a ton.”
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes reassigned defenseman Maxime Lajoie to Chicago of the American Hockey League.
–Field Level Media