Jesperi Kotkaniemi had two goals and an assist as the Carolina Hurricanes recorded a 5-3 win over the visiting Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday in Raleigh, N.C.
The victory moved the Hurricanes ahead of New Jersey and into sole possession of the Metropolitan Division lead while ending the club’s two-game losing streak.
Carolina was shut out in both of those defeats, contributing to a goalless drought that lasted 182:28 across four games. The slump was finally ended when Jaccob Slavin scored 4:37 into the first period on Tuesday.
Brady Skjei had a goal and an assist, and Jack Drury scored the Hurricanes’ other goal, his first of the season.
Kotkaniemi has nine points (four goals, five assists) over his last nine games, though the streaky forward collected all nine in just three of those games.
Frederik Andersen stopped 21 of 24 shots for his 17th win of the season. Jets goaltender David Rittich stopped 20 of 24 shots.
A victory would have moved Winnipeg into third place in the Central Division. The Jets are still in playoff position, holding the Western Conference’s second wild-card slot.
Dylan DeMelo, Nikolaj Ehlers and Nino Niederreiter scored the Jets’ goals. Niederreiter has seven points (four goals, three assists) over a seven-game points streak.
DeMelo’s marker (19 seconds after the first intermission) came in unusual fashion, on a play started when Jordan Martinook was knocked down by Dylan Samberg’s bodycheck. As Carolina’s players gathered around Samberg, the play wasn’t whistled dead, allowing a three-on-one Winnipeg rush and DeMelo’s fourth goal of the season.
Rittich wasn’t helped by some sloppiness from his teammates in Winnipeg’s end of the ice. Slavin scored after intercepting Brenden Dillon’s poor clearance attempt, while another Jets turnover midway through the third period resulted in Drury’s goal.
The Jets didn’t score on their lone power-play chance, as the Hurricanes continue to excel at limiting and killing penalties. Carolina is a perfect 28-for-28 on the penalty kill over its last 12 games.
–Field Level Media