RALEIGH – Initially this was supposed to be a best-of-two series for the Blackhawks in North Carolina, but the NHL had other ideas.
In an effort to get their schedule back on track, and with other teams struggling to catch-up on postponed games, the league decided to postpone the Hurricanes’ contest with their Friday opponent on Saturday.
That meant the Blackhawks are off on Saturday night instead of having a second-straight game against Carolina while the Hurricanes face the Lightning. So Jeremy Colliton was hoping his team could make the most of their one game on the road Friday and extend their winning streak to a season-high four games.
But Carolina had an answer at the beginning and the end to make it an unsuccessful trip out east.
The Hurricanes started well and finished the same, working around a surge by the Blackhawks at the end of the second period to win it 5-3 on Friday night.
Nino Niederreiter scored a pair of goals on the night for Carolina – opening the scoring in the first as the Hurricanes grabbed an early 2-0 thanks to a second period score by Vincent Trocheck.
Patrick Kane would turn the tide in the second period when he scored his most entertaining goal of the year so far. He got down ice then spun around and fired a backhander into the back of the net for his eighth goal of the year to make it 2-1.
Ian Mitchell’s tally before the end of the second period tied the score at two.
Carolina would get the advantage back in the third thanks to a pair of power play goals by Martin Necas and then Niederreiter’s second to make it 4-2. Jaccob Slavin got an empty-netter shortly after to make it a brief three-goal game, but Carl Soderberg got it back to make it a two-goal deficit.
It would get no closer as the Blackhawks’ short trip to Raleigh was an unsuccessful one.