Hurricanes aim to continue fast start vs. Canucks
RALEIGH, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes are coming off a monumental offensive performance.
The Vancouver Canucks last dealt with multiple defensive malfunctions.
Now the teams meet Tuesday night at PNC Arena.
It’s less than a week into the season so it’s too soon to identify trends, but the Hurricanes generally like their direction.
“It’s fun to watch them grow,” first-year Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of a team dotted with newcomers.
The Hurricanes (2-0-1) have five points through three games, a mark achieved only once before in franchise history and the first time since the relocation to North Carolina more than 20 years ago.
Granted, they were exposed in Sunday’s game at times, but the 8-5 victory against the New York Rangers was rewarding.
“We’ve definitely given up some quality opportunities,” Brind’Amour said. “I keep reminding myself that we have a young group and they’re going to make mistakes. … Obviously, it easier when we do score (like that).”
Perhaps worn out by all the scoring, the Hurricanes didn’t practice Monday.
Yet defense will be part of the emphasis in the Vancouver game.
“Play better defensively and hopefully keep scoring lots of goals and we’ll be fine,” Hurricanes left winger Jordan Martinook said. “In this league, wins matter.”
The Canucks (1-1-0) are concerned about defense under second-year coach Travis Green.
Vancouver was on the wrong end of a high-scoring game in Saturday’s 7-4 loss at Calgary, which has been the opponent for both its games so far.
“We have to player better defense — be more strict,” Canucks center Elias Pettersson said. “Everyone is good out there. You have to play your best.”
Addressing some of the details will be important for Vancouver, which gave up 35 and 37 shots in the first two games, respectively.
“We’ve got some pretty skilled players on our team,” said Canucks center Brandon Sutter, a former Carolina player. “We have to keep getting better. We have a young team. We can be better.”
The Hurricanes have found the first-week magic and aim to keep it rolling.
“You start playing with that confidence,” said Martinook, who has two goals and an assist. “It’s crazy how confidence can help you out and I’m going to try to ride it.”
Hurricanes right winger Andrei Svechnikov, an 18-year-old, became the first NHL player born in the 2000s to score a goal in Sunday’s victory.
“That’s my dream to score my first goal in the NHL — and my dream came true,” Svechnikov said. “… I feel every game better.”
The Hurricanes didn’t announce a goalie Monday for the matchup with Vancouver. Petr Mrazek is 2-0-0 all-time against the Canucks, but he allowed five goals in Sunday’s game.
The Carolina defense will have to track Pettersson, a 19-year-old who has three goals and two assists already.
“Of course, I’m happy with that,” he said.
Since 1990-91, Pettersson is the seventh rookie in the NHL to register five points across his first two games. Until last week, no Canucks player had goals in each of his first two career games since Rick Lanz in the 1980-81 season.