For 55 minutes Saturday afternoon in the Prudential Center, the Carolina Hurricanes just didn’t seem to have it.
The Canes’ offense stagnated through the first two and a half periods, creating very little in the way of meaningful chances as the New Jersey Devils built up a 2-0 lead thanks to Yegor Sharangovich and Nico Hischier.
But then the tide turned for the Hurricanes, as Brady Skjei and Nino Niederreiter scored just 2:40 apart in the final five minutes of regulation to force overtime and earn Carolina at least one point in the standings.
And then in the extra period, Tony DeAngelo made a phenomenal play to jump a passing lane and keep the puck in the offensive zone for the Canes. DeAngelo served one up on a platter for Seth Jarvis, who blasted home the game-winning goal.
And while the comeback and overtime win were huge, the biggest story of the day for the Hurricanes was the successful NHL debut of goaltender Pyotr Kochetkov.
Kochetkov stopped 17 of 19 shots faced in his first taste of NHL action, including a huge one-on-one save on Jesper Boqvist in the third period to keep the Canes’ deficit at just 2-0. Kochetkov became the first Hurricanes’ goalie to win on his debut since Dave Ayres, and the first actually rostered goalie to win his NHL debut with the Hurricanes since Justin Peters did it in 2010.
The first 20 minutes were pretty much what you’d expect in a 12:30 puck drop, as neither team really got much going in a rather uneventful first period.
Kochetkov was challenged early and made a nice little flurry of saves to get his feet wet in the NHL, and then he went through a long, long period without facing much from the Devils.
A couple of nice scramble saves for Kochetkov in the opening minutes.
He lost his stick in the process, but still swallowed the last shot with ease. pic.twitter.com/JxH4lIaQiX
— Walt Ruff (@WaltRuff) April 23, 2022
New Jersey did get a power play late in the frame as Vincent Trocheck sat for tripping, and a stickhandling miscue from Kochetkov led to a chance for New Jersey. The Devils couldn’t capitalize, though, and the team’s headed to the first break scoreless.
Most of the second period was exactly like the first, with neither team creating much at all. The Canes did ring the post on a power play early in the frame, but couldn’t convert for a goal with the man advantage.
Things opened up late in the period as a pair of penalties led to some special teams action. First it was the Canes getting called for too many men, and New Jersey’s struggling power play found a goal to open up the scoring.
The Devils got plenty of traffic in front of Kochetkov and Jesper Boqvist got a shot through. Sharangovich was there in the shooting lane to tip it in past Kochetkov, the first goal given up for the young Russian netminder.
Immediately after the Devils opened the scoring on the power play, the Canes got their second man advantage of the period on a faceoff violation against the Devils. The Hurricanes couldn’t convert on the power play once again, though Jaccob Slavin had a prime chance robbed by John Gillies right after the two minutes expired.
The Canes still couldn’t really get it going in the third period, and the Devils made it 2-0 thanks to their captain. Briefly after the end of a 4-on-4 segment, Hischier skated the puck into the zone and unleashed a nasty wrister from the circle as Skjei played loosely off of him.
After the Hurricanes successfully killed off an Ian Cole penalty, they got on the board with some good forechecking pressure and a fortunate bounce. After the Canes couldn’t convert on a scramble in front of the net, Niederreiter put good pressure on Dougie Hamilton in the corner to win the puck back.
The puck made its way to Skjei, who rifled it in towards the net where Jesper Fast and Niederreiter were looking for the deflection. What happened was a great bounce for the Canes, as Skjei’s shot hit a New Jersey skater and deflected past Gillies.
Then just 2:40 after Skjei opened the Canes’ scoring, Niederreiter got to the front of the net again and tied things up at 2-2. Literal seconds after Carolina pulled Kochetkov for the extra skater, Slavin fired from the point and created a heavy rebound for Niederreiter to clean up on the far side.
The Canes went to overtime where Jarvis one it, earning the first career win for Kochetkov in pretty memorable fashion. Along with the win, Kochetkov also got his first postgame hugs from Slavin and Trocheck.
The Canes will be right back at it Sunday afternoon against the Islanders.