The Carolina Hurricanes will carry plenty of momentum into their Sunday home game against the Boston Bruins, who will try to get over a stunning Saturday night defeat.
The Hurricanes have won their past four games, the latest one in improbable fashion on Friday. Martin Necas scored with 11.5 seconds remaining in the third period, then scored again 55 seconds into overtime for a 5-4 triumph over the visiting San Jose Sharks.
Necas leads the team in goals (21) and points (44) this season.
“Got your entertainment’s worth, that’s for sure,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “It was a great finish. It felt like we were out of it. Obviously, our skill guys got it done.”
The Hurricanes trailed the Sharks 4-2 with less than two minutes left before staging their comeback.
“We got a couple of goals and you could feel it was coming for us,” Necas said.
Necas also scored in overtime to give Carolina a 3-2 road win over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. He has three game-winning overtime goals this season, which leads the NHL.
Sebastian Aho scored twice for Carolina against San Jose. Aho is second on the team in goals (20) and points (43). He has six goals in Carolina’s past three games, including a hat trick against the New York Islanders on Jan. 21.
The Hurricanes, who are 6-0-1 in their past seven games, will be facing a Boston team that has absorbed back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
The Bruins let the Panthers’ Alexsander Barkov score the tying goal with 2.4 seconds left on Saturday, and Florida’s Sam Reinhart beat Boston goaltender Jeremy Swayman 17 seconds into overtime to cap a 4-3 decision.
Boston was coming off a 3-2 road loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday before the disappointing defeat in Sunrise, Fla., two nights later.
“We’re facing a little adversity right now,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “It’s the first time all year we haven’t prevailed in two games in a row, so we’re gonna have to look at what we’re doing wrong and ways to get better.”
Boston led Florida 3-2 when David Pastrnak scored his team-high 38th goal of the season with 48.6 seconds remaining in the third period, but it wasn’t enough.
Swayman, who had won his previous five starts, made a season-high 33 saves in the loss.
Linus Ullmark, the other half of Boston’s goaltending tandem, leads the NHL in goals-against average (1.86), save percentage (.937) and victories (25).
It was just the second time the Bruins failed to win this season when they were leading after two periods (26-0-2).
Boston center Trent Frederic left the Saturday game in the first period due to a lower-body injury and did not return. Frederic has 10 goals and eight assists in 46 games this season.
Carolina goaltender Antti Raanta made 26 saves to collect the win against San Jose. It was his first start since Jan. 7.
Raanta also stopped each of the 15 shots he faced during the Wednesday victory over Dallas. He entered that game at the start of the second period after Frederik Andersen left the game with an upper-body injury. Andersen allowed two goals on six shots in the opening 20 minutes.
Raanta is 12-2-3 with a 2.55 goals-against average this season. Andersen is 9-3-0 with a 2.49 GAA.
–Field Level Media