The Carolina Hurricanes were all about making franchise history, but they had to work for it.
With a 6-5 victory Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers at PNC Arena, the Canes now have points in 14 consecutive games. That topped the 13-game point streak equaled by four teams, the last in April and early May during the 2021 season.
Not that the record-breaker came easily. Hardly. The Flyers, trailing 6-2 after two periods, scored twice shorthanded in the third period in pulling within 6-5 and raising the tension level.
A few hours before the game, Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour quickly dismissed any talk of records.
“It’s not an issue with our group,” Brind’Amour said.
In the last game before the Christmas break, with many of the players having family in town for the holidays, Brind’Amour was more concerned about the Canes being completely “dialed in.”
“You’ve got to answer the bell,” he said.
The Canes answered, holding on to win an eighth straight game.
Jesper Fast scored twice and Jordan Martinook had a goal and two assists as the hard-working Jordan Staal line continued to sizzle and produce. Staal had a three-game goal streak end but had three assists, nearly matching his season total.
The Canes, pushing the pace, led 3-1 after the first period and 6-2 after two. They chased rookie goalie Samuel Ersson, who was making his NHL debut for the Flyers, although Ersson later had to return to the game when goalie Carter Hart was injured.
Stefan Noesen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi had power-play goals and Andrei Svechnikov scored his 18th off the rush for the Canes (22-6-6), who maintained their lead over the New Jersey Devils in the Metropolitan Division heading into the Christmas break.
Center Sebastian Aho, after missing seven games with a lower-body injury, was back in the lineup Friday. Also returning was defenseman Brady Skjei, who missed the Canes’ overtime win Thursday in Pittsburgh because of personal reasons.
One surprise was goalie Antti Raanta making back-to-back starts for the first time this season. Many expected Pyotr Kochetkov to be back in net, but Brind’Amour said he has “tweaked” something and that the Canes were being cautious with a rookie who has quickly become one of the league’s most refreshing stories.
Raanta didn’t get a lot of work in the first two periods. But Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny scored shorthanded after Nick Seeler had scored in the third as the Flyers made a hard push.
The Flyers pulled Ersson with 2:42 left in regulation for a sixth attacker but could not tie it.
Svechnikov’s 18th, off a Martin Necas assist, came after former Canes defenseman Tony DeAngelo had scored for the Flyers. DeAngelo received a nice hand from Canes fans after being recognized during a break in the first period.
After taking three days off for Christmas, the Canes will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, looking to extend their winning streaks.
Odds are, Brind’Amour will not want to talk about it before the game.