ST. PAUL, Minn. — Andrei Svechnikov closed his eyes, unloaded a wobbly shot and transformed himself into the latest star for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Svechnikov’s goal 1:33 into overtime lifted the Hurricanes to a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday over the Minnesota Wild, the second straight game Carolina won in the extra session after downing Buffalo 5-4 on Thursday.
He converted a nifty give-and-go with defenceman Dougie Hamilton, firing a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that fluttered over goaltender Devan Dubnyk’s stick to extend the Hurricanes’ win streak to three games after snapping a four-game losing streak.
“I pass it to him and he just make an amazing play for me, and then I was just kind of skating and then I try to close my eyes and shoot it on net,” said Svechnikov, who has two goals and two assists in Carolina’s last two wins.
Eleven different Hurricanes recorded points as they improved to 5-1 in overtime this season while Minnesota fell to 0-2 in the extra session.
The Wild had plenty of chances to take the lead in the third period but were thwarted when Hurricanes goalie James Reimer swiped Joel Eriksson Ek’s shot off the goal line before Jordan Greenway’s blast hit the back of the goaltender’s left pad and clanked off the far goal post.
“You’d think at some point the puck luck would turn around but you’ve just got to persevere,” lamented Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. “We thought we were playing well and thought we were going to win.”
For the fifth time in six games the Wild (7-11-2) fell behind 2-0, but they rallied to tie the game 3-3 entering the third period. Yet it was not enough to overcome a Carolina team that improved to 12-7-1.
Joel Edmundson opened the scoring for Carolina 3:56 into the game. His point shot deflected off Wild centre Luke Kunin over Dubnyk’s glove for the defenceman’s second goal of the season. Martin Necas also drew an assist, giving him eight points in eight games.
Two minutes later a rebound off Dubnyk ricocheted into the slot where winger Brock McGinn pounced on the puck and whipped it past the goaltender on the short side, and the Hurricanes were cruising.
Luke Kunin cut the deficit in half 4:27 into the second period. His quick shot from the bottom of the left faceoff circle beat Reimer to convert a pretty three-way passing play with Jordan Greenway and Jonas Brodin. It was Kunin’s fourth goal of the season.
Minnesota’s momentum was fleeting. Warren Foegele regained Carolina’s two-goal lead at 8:50, one-timing Ryan Dzingel’s centring feed past Dubnyk for his second goal in three games after scoring only one in his first 17.
Then it was the Wild’s turn for a quick two-goal strike. Zach Parise bagged his sixth of the season shorthanded at 15:43. Just 1:21 later defenceman Carson Soucy beat Reimer with a wrist shot from the left circle for his first career NHL goal. Former Hurricanes centre Victor Rask earned the lone assist as Minnesota outshot Carolina 15-7 in the second period.
“They got to their game a little bit, but we were just non-existent as a group,” said Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I think our first chance came at 11 minutes gone and it ended up being a goal. So, we got a little bit fortunate there. I love the fact that we put that behind us and came out and played a good third period and got a win.”
Meanwhile, the Wild managed to extend its home point streak to six games (4-0-2) since losing its Oct. 12 home opener to Pittsburgh, which took some of the edge off their latest overtime loss. Minnesota has lost three straight overtime games, plus its last two shootouts, dating back to the 2018-19 season.
“It’s unfortunate for sure,” said Greenway. “Maybe the first five minutes, we didn’t play great but after that, honestly, we did a lot of great things. Sometimes you’re going to have the bounces, sometimes you’re not. But I think we created a lot of good luck for ourselves tonight.”
NOTES: Hurricanes left wing Jordan Martinook, after missing 15 games because of torn muscle, assisted on Edmundson’s goal. … Carolina forward Brian Gibbons cleared waivers and was reassigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League. … The Wild honoured Niederreiter with a video tribute and fans gave him an ovation during the first television timeout of the first period. Niederreiter played for Minnesota from 2013-19.
Hurricanes: Concludes their three-game road trip Tuesday in Chicago.
Wild: Hit the road again for the 14th time in 21 games Tuesday when they visit Buffalo.