DALLAS (AP/WNCN) — The only way the Carolina Hurricanes and Dallas Stars meet again this season is if they make the Stanley Cup Final. While there’s still a long way to go, both teams are playing pretty good hockey just before the All-Star break.
Martin Necas scored 1:34 into overtime to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 win over the Western Conference leaders in a matchup of first-place teams Wednesday night.
“They’re playing kind of similar hockey like we do. It’s always tough going against them,” said Necas, who also had an OT winner when the teams played in December. “Fortunate, twice in overtime we beat them.”
Sebastian Aho scored shorthanded for his 200th career goal, and Brent Burns also scored for the Hurricanes, who lead the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference. The game-winner was Necas’ 19th goal this season.
And there was a goaltender change in the second period after Frederik Andersen didn’t return after the first intermission because of an upper-body injury, soon after a strange sequence that ended with Robertson scoring on a shot from what seemed to be an impossible angle.
The puck was bouncing on the ice behind Andersen and settled against the post after Tyler Seguin’s shot before the goalie was able to swipe it away to his right. Robertson then shot from behind Andersen, and the puck apparently ricocheted off him and into the net for a 2-1 Dallas lead. Robertson’s 33rd goal matched his assists total through 50 games.
Antti Raanta replaced Andersen and stopped all 15 shots he faced — none in overtime — after the starter had four saves. Raanta had to shake off getting struck in the head by Mason Marchment’s stick when the Stars forward was behind the net fighting for the puck midway through the third period.
“We didn’t give up a ton, which was great. It’s a tough spot to come in, obviously, when you’re cold and on the bench,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said of Raanta. “But, you know, he’s been around. He knows that that’s part of his job. And obviously he did it well.”
And when asked about what is key to stepping in during the middle of a game, Antti Raanta said that it’s what you practice for.
“You try to work everyday in practice, to make sure that whenever your turn is you’re ready,” Raanta said.
Raanta also shared how the team played well the whole game.
“We played really well the whole game; we didn’t give them lots of rush chances and the [penalty kill] was working really well,” Raanta said.
Aho put Carolina up 1-0 midway through the first period with his 16th career short-handed goal.
Rod Brind’Amour said Aho is dynamic when asked about his 200th NHL goal and matching Eric Staal in the franchise record for shorthanded goals.
“[Aho] is dynamic in open ice and can really read the play,” Brind’Amour said.
Burns tied the game at 2 in the second period, getting the puck after a faceoff, then skating over the top of the circle and scoring top shelf over Oettinger’s left shoulder.
The Hurricanes next face the San Jose Sharks at PNC Arena on Friday at 7 p.m.