CHICAGO (AP)Carolina was just OK for much of the first two periods, and then found its game in the third.
The Hurricanes are undefeated for a reason.
Jesper Fast and Martin Necas scored 3:09 apart in the third, and Carolina beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Wednesday night.
”The guys dug in. That’s all I can tell you,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. ”You’re not always going to come out with those type of results, but it was a great effort at the end for sure.”
Derek Stepan had a goal and an assist as Carolina matched a franchise record with its ninth straight victory. Seth Jarvis added his first career goal in his second game, and Frederik Andersen made 27 saves in the opener of a challenging three-game trip.
At 9-0, the Hurricanes moved into a tie with the 2015-16 Montreal Canadiens for the NHL’s third-longest win streak to begin a season. Next up is a trip to Florida for a Saturday matchup with the Panthers, who are 8-0-1 heading into their game against Washington on Thursday night.
”That’s going to be a tough one. We know that,” Brind’Amour said. ”You know you look forward to it.”
Alex DeBrincat had two goals for Chicago, which lost 6-3 at Carolina on Friday night. Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 stops.
The Blackhawks were coming off their first win in their 10th game of the season, but they were unable to build on that 5-1 victory over Ottawa.
”It’s just another hard lesson,” coach Jeremy Colliton said. ”But I would like us to stop learning hard lessons and respond with a change in how we think about the game.”
The Blackhawks led 3-2 after two, but the Hurricanes tied it 17 seconds into the third. After Chicago defenseman Jake McCabe turned it over, Andrei Svechnikov made a nice pass to Fast in the middle and he beat Fleury for his fourth of the season.
Necas then put the Hurricanes ahead to stay on a shot from the right circle that trickled past Fleury for his second at 3:26.
”We let up for a couple of minutes there and there’s a couple in our net,” DeBrincat said. ”We just have to figure out how to hold a lead.”
Chicago had several chances down the stretch, but Andersen kept Carolina in front. The Hurricanes killed off three penalties in the third, including a double minor on Ethan Bear for high-sticking.
”That was obviously the game,” Brind’Amour said.
Kane snapped a 1-all tie when he redirected Riley Stillman’s point shot through Andersen’s legs 2:49 into the second. Kane also had three goals and an assist in Monday night’s victory over the Senators in his first game back after being sidelined by COVID-19.
DeBrincat then finished a pretty sequence for Chicago, making it 3-1 at 8:24. A falling Mike Hardman passed backward to Phillipp Kurashev, who set up DeBrincat’s team-high sixth goal with a slick backhand pass.
The Hurricanes got one back when Jarvis took advantage of a bad pinch by Blackhawks defenseman Erik Gustafsson. Jarvis, the No. 13 overall pick in last year’s NHL draft, skated right by Gustafsson and beat Fleury on the breakaway at 12:50.
”It’s nice to get one tonight, especially against Marc-Andre Fleury,” the 19-year-old Jarvis said. ”I grew up watching him. Grew up idolizing him, so to get one against him means a little bit more.”
Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce was shaken up after he lost an edge and slammed hard into the boards in the second. He didn’t play in the third.
”We’ll have to see on that one,” Brind’Amour said.
Stillman and forward Jujhar Khaira returned to Chicago’s lineup after being sidelined by COVID-19. Forward Henrik Borgstrom was removed from the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday, but didn’t play against Carolina.
While Borgstrom cleared protocol, Chicago added forward Tyler Johnson and defenseman Isaak Phillips to its COVID-19 protocol list.
Hurricanes: At the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
Blackhawks: At the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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