Having halted an early-season slide, the Carolina Hurricanes now set their sights on extending the misery of the San Jose Sharks.
The Hurricanes can keep the visiting Sharks winless by beating them for the second time in 10 days Friday night.
Things have hardly been easy for Carolina, which has split its first eight games, and needed to rally from a late 2-1 deficit for Thursday’s 3-2 overtime victory over Seattle that snapped a three-game losing streak. Martin Necas’ second goal of the night, and fourth this season, came with 9.7 seconds remaining in the extra session.
Meanwhile, Carolina held its first opponent to fewer than three goals this season and did not yield an opponent power-play goal after giving up eight in the previous four games.
The Hurricanes are 2-4 since opening with back-to-back victories.
“I think we got the two points we deserved (Thursday), but I like how we stuck with what we were trying to do,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
“You certainly hope so, that this could springboard us. Whether you win or not, it’s that way you’ve got to play to win. So, hopefully we can build on that.”
Necas had a goal and an assist during Carolina’s 6-3 win at San Jose on Oct. 17. Seth Jarvis also scored twice in that contest for the Hurricanes, who have won four straight during a 5-0-1 stretch against the Sharks.
San Jose has allowed 29 non-shootout goals, while scoring just eight, during its 0-6-1 start. The Sharks’ worst start to a season was their 11-game winless stretch to begin the 1995-96 season. The Sharks managed just 23 shots on goal and trailed 5-0 midway through the second period of Thursday’s 6-0 loss at Tampa Bay.
According to the NHL, San Jose is the 10th team since 1943-44 to score eight or fewer goals in its first seven games.
“The effort and the dedication that you can put into our game, that’s just the choice,” Sharks defenseman Jan Rutta told the Bay Area News Group.
“It’s a matter of choice. We can play a hard game.”
Fabian Zetterlund has two of those eight goals for the Sharks, one of which came against the Hurricanes.
Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 36 shots versus Carolina this month but was pulled after allowing five goals on 21 shots Thursday. Kaapo Kahkonen, who yielded a goal in relief at Tampa Bay, has allowed seven goals on 68 shots faced in his two starts this season.
Carolina’s Frederik Andersen, who exited that contest with San Jose after taking a puck to the mask, returned Thursday to make 24 saves. Teammate Antti Raanta stopped 12 of the 14 shots he faced at San Jose and has allowed four goals apiece in losing both of his starts this season.
Carolina’s Jesperi Kotkaniemi had a goal with an assist Thursday to raise his point total to nine. He posted two assists versus San Jose.
Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov was activated off injured reserve and will make his season debut, the team announced Friday.
Svechnikov, 23, sustained a torn ACL last season in Carolina’s 4-0 loss versus the Vegas Golden Knights on March 11. He underwent season-ending surgery just three days later.
Svechnikov, the second overall pick of the 2018 NHL Draft, recorded 55 points (23 goals, 32 assists) in 64 games last season.