Raanta blanks Senators 4-0 as Hurricanes win 5th straight
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Antti Raanta made 32 saves for his third shutout in 21 appearances this season, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Ottawa Senators 4-0 on Friday night.
Brent Burns, Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas and Brady Skjei scored in Carolina’s fifth straight win and 12th in 13 games overall. Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho each had two assists.
“It’s nice when you get a good game and you feel you did your part,” said Raanta, who has won in five consecutive outings.
The Senators were blanked for the second time this season, and they went back-to-back games without a team point for the first time in more than a month. Those games were against the NHL’s top two teams, losing 3-1 at Boston on Monday.
Senators goalie Cam Talbot, who returned after a nine-game absence with a lower-body injury, stopped 26 shots.
Raanta has secured a team point in a franchise-record 14 consecutive decisions (12-0-2).
“He was, in my opinion, the best player on the ice,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
Ottawa peppered Raanta with 25 total shots across the last two periods.
“Second and third periods, (we) played hard and had lots of chances but their goalie was really good,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said.
The Burns goal was unconventional, with Jarvis cradled in the goal after he was pushed into Talbot. The shot from Burns whizzed past Jarvis’ head 3:48 into the first period for his 12th of the season.
“I was so scared to look up,” Jarvis said. “I didn’t know what was going on. I was in the net. I knew the play was still going on.”
Then Jarvis got his 13th goal at 6:29, handling the puck in front of the net before beating Talbot.
Carolina outshot Ottawa 12-1 in the first 10 minutes.
“It enabled us to kind of have an iffy rest of the game,” Brind’Amour said.
Necas increased the Hurricanes’ lead with 7:26 left, shortly after Carolina killed off Ottawa’s fifth power play of the game. Skjei scored into an empty net with 3:30 remaining.
The Hurricanes began the second period by finishing a penalty kill and then committed three penalties in the first nine minutes of the period. But Ottawa came up empty, even with some time with a 5-on-3 advantage.
“Guys were doing an amazing job there taking those backdoor passes away,” Raanta said. “When they had the shot, I was able to see it.”
The Senators arrived with the league’s fourth-best power play but couldn’t solve the Hurricanes, who have gone three straight games without allowing a power-play goal.
“The 5-on-3, we’ve got to find a way to score,” Smith said. “If you score there, you got them on their heels.”
FRIEND TO FOE
Former Carolina prospect Julien Gauthier played his second game with the Senators after a trade from the New York Rangers. He had Ottawa’s best scoring chance in the first period on a breakaway stopped by Raanta.
Gauthier has not registered a point in four career games versus the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes, who were without a power play for the first time this season Tuesday vs. St. Louis, had a first-period chance. … Ottawa had a restored blue line as defencemen Jake Sanderson and Nick Holden were back on the ice after missing five and four games, respectively, with injuries. … The teams will meet twice more, with both those games in April.
Senators: Saturday night at Montreal.
Hurricanes: Saturday night vs. Anaheim to end a five-game homestand.
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Bob Sutton, The Associated Press