Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour didn’t have long to enjoy a 6-1 win Tuesday over the Los Angeles Kings.
Brind’Amour left the ice to check on the status of defenseman Justin Faulk and forward Micheal Ferland, who both left the game with upper-body injuries. Defenseman Calvin de Haan then was involved in a weight-room mishap during a postgame workout and needed assistance.
“This was a tough night for that,” Brind’Amour said. “I’ve got to assess the damage. These are the games where you hate to see that stuff kind of happen. Obviously we need everyone healthy here. Everybody is so important to our group.
“This was a good effort and a good win. We’ll see tomorrow and assess everything and move forward.”
The Canes took a pass on the NHL’s deadline day, with general manager Don Waddell and Brind’Amour both expressing confidence in keeping the “group” intact. The Canes have not been a part of the Stanley Cup playoffs since 2009, but the sense was this team, this year, is good enough and playing well enough to end that playoff drought.
They looked the part a day later against the Kings. Forward Teuvo Teravainen led the onslaught with a goal and three assists, defenseman Dougie Hamilton had two goals and an assist, and Jordan Staal three assists for the Canes (34-23-6), who were 10-3-0 in February.
That made for a mostly stress-free night for goalie Petr Mrazek, who earned his 15th win of the season as Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney continue to give the Canes quality starts in net. The Kings’ Dustin Brown ended Mrazek’s shutout bid with 7:58 left in the third.
“If we play like that we’re going to have a really good chance to be in the playoffs,” Mrazek said. “Nineteen games left and we have to do the same things we did in February.”
Carolina, 19-6-1 in their last 26 games, moved into third place in the Metropolitan Division as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2. The Montreal Canadiens and Pens held the two wild-card spots.
Ferland, who had a goal and assist, was hurt trying to leap over Kings goalie Jonathan Quick on the Canes’ sixth goal. The source of much trade speculation before Monday, he appeared relaxed and relieved Tuesday at the Canes’ morning skate.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’ve said from day one that I wanted to be here. I’m so happy I didn’t get moved and I can stay here for this playoff push.”
The Canes led 2-0 after the first, Hamilton scoring at the end of an odd sequence and then Sebastian Aho with a quick burst of speed and quick release on his shot.
On Hamilton’s goal, Canes forward Saku Maenalanen was pushed into Quick near the post by defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Quick lost his stick behind the net, then tried to crawl back into the crease without it, but Hamilton had an easy score.
The goals came quickly in the second period. Ferland redirected a shot by Staal. Jaccob Slavin ripped a shot on a power play and Teravainen on a shot from the right circle.
Hamilton’s second goal, his 12th of the season, made it 6-0 and resulted in a tweet that asked if the Canes ever held a “Storm Surge” celebration after two periods.
The Kings (23-33-7) have lost nine straight games, were at the end of a four-game road trip and may have been ready to leave after two periods. Jack Campbell replaced Quick in the third.
Aho had gone 10 games without a goal while centering the Canes top line. He has 70 points for the season, the first Canes player to reach 70 since Eric Staal in 2011-12.