While it’s a small sample size, the Carolina Hurricanes haven’t missed a beat this season. That could lead to additional success.
The Hurricanes have won all three of their games in regulation and will aim for another positive outcome Saturday night when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets to conclude a three-game stretch of road games.
“It’s going to give us more confidence,” Hurricanes right winger Andrei Svechnikov said of the influence from the early results.
Svechnikov has personal reasons to be confident in his game thus far. He has scored four goals and started the year with a three-game goals streak for the second season in a row.
The Blue Jackets have matched Carolina with three victories, though doing so across four games — and twice needing overtime.
Columbus has youngsters making an impact as well. Consider that Cole Sillinger, an 18-year-old who was drafted in July, notched his first NHL goal when the Blue Jackets topped the New York Islanders 3-2 in overtime on Thursday night.
“It was really good that one finally popped in the net there,” Sillinger said. “Hopefully more to come.”
The Blue Jackets, despite their record, could use an infusion of offense. Since opening the season by posting eight goals against the Arizona Coyotes, they’ve managed a total of four regulation goals in the three games since.
Patrik Laine has both of the overtime goals for Columbus. So maybe the Blue Jackets are a bit greedy after some fortunate results under first-year coach Brad Larsen.
“It would be more fun to be 4-0,” Laine said.
The Blue Jackets would like to expand an upper hand they’ve shown on power plays. They’ve converted 4 of 11 this season.
“We are clicking and we have to continue to work on that,” said Blue Jackets right winger Jakub Voracek, who has assists on three of the team’s four power-play goals this season.
Sebastian Aho scored twice in Carolina’s 4-1 victory at Montreal on Thursday night. The first of his goals gave him 146 for his career, making him the franchise’s all-time leader in goals among Finnish-born players.
The opening week of the season didn’t come without flaws for the Hurricanes. They went on penalty kills six times in the Montreal game, doing a solid job in that department despite the Canadiens’ lone goal coming on a power play.
“To be in the box that much isn’t good,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
Things have gone so well that the Hurricanes might be trying to accomplish so much that it puts them in binds at times.
“Most of our hiccups come from guys trying to do too much, which is a good thing,” Brind’Amour said.
For Carolina newcomer Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who was acquired from the Canadiens through an offer sheet in the offseason, Thursday’s win was doubly memorable. He returned to Montreal to face his former teammates for the first time, and he scored his first goal with the Hurricanes.
“I think he’s going to be a star,” Svechnikov said.