Kochetkov returns for Hurricanes, blanks Flyers 1-0
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Pyotr Kochetkov returned from the minor leagues and made 19 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes blanked the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 on Thursday night.
Andrei Svechnikov scored an early power-play goal and that was enough for the Hurricanes, who’ve won four games in a row and nine of their last 11.
Carolina has back-to-back home shutouts and hasn’t allowed a goal in three of its last four games at home.
“Their goalie played really well and (Kochetkov) had to match it,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
Kochetkov was recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis for his first NHL action since Jan. 15 after goalie Antti Raanta suffered an injury Tuesday night at Montreal. Kochetkov has four shutouts in 20 appearances this season.
Fans chanted “Koooooch” in appreciation of the goalie’s latest work.
“That’s pretty impressive, just come here and get a shutout,” Svechnikov said.
Kochetkov was rarely tested, seeing only 13 shots in the first two periods combined. He was up to the challenge to stop Joel Farabee’s second-period breakaway.
Kochetkov, a 24-year-old Russian, is one of three Hurricanes goalies with at least one shutout this season.
“Just glad that he came up and found his rhythm,” Carolina defenseman Brett Pesce said.
Kochetkov is tied for the franchise single-season record for shutouts by a rookie. Almost two months in the minors didn’t change his demeanor.
“He’s a confident kid,” Brind’Amour said. “I didn’t see much different.”
Philadelphia’s Felix Sandstrom was a hard-luck loser with 27 saves, though he fell to 1-9-1 this season.
The Flyers have won only one of their last seven games (1-5-1). Their lone power-play chance came with less than nine minutes to play but didn’t convert.
“We have to be patient,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said. “We have to be simple. We don’t make enough plays. We haven’t made enough plays, and we probably won’t the rest of the season.”
Svechnikov scored his 23rd goal of the season 2:09 into the game on a power play. Martin Necas delivered a pass to Svechnikov, who was waiting in the slot.
The Hurricanes went on three power plays in the first period, but managed five shots on those – and six total shots in the period.
By the end, the Flyers were credited with 22 blocked shots.
“We had a bunch of chances, just didn’t find the back of the net,” Pesce said. “We found a way to win, which is all that matters.”
It was the NHL debut for Flyers forward Tyson Foerster, who was Philadelphia’s first-round draft pick in 2020. Foerster made a goal-saving move by blocking Svechnikov’s rebound attempt in the second period.
He was active for most of his nearly 14 minutes on the ice.
“I thought he was one of the better players with the puck,” Tortorella said. “Poise with the puck. That was his first game against a top team like this, and it’s encouraging.”
NOTES: Flyers D Tony DeAngelo served the first game of a two-game suspension handed down by the NHL for his spearing incident Tuesday night at Tampa Bay. DeAngelo played last season for the Hurricanes. ... Hurricanes D Brent Burns had an assist on his 38th birthday. … The Flyers have just one power-play goal in their last eight games.
UP NEXT Flyers: At Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Hurricanes: Home vs. Vegas on Saturday.
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Bob Sutton, The Associated Press