Kochetkov, Hurricanes top Devils to extend point streak to 12

RALEIGH, NC — Pyotr Kochetkov made 37 saves, and the Carolina Hurricanes extended their point streak to 12 games with a 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at PNC Arena on Tuesday.

Kochetkov made 14 saves in the second period, including stopping forward Jesper Bratt with his right skate on a breakaway with 31 seconds remaining in the period.

“He stole the show for sure, ‘Kuchie’ was our best player by far,” Carolina captain Jordan Staal said. “Not our best [as a team]. They created a lot of offense and got us on our heels a little bit.”

Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Staal scored, and Jacob Slavin had two assists for the Hurricanes (20-6-6), who have won six straight and are 10-0-2 during the point streak. Carolina moved two points ahead of New Jersey for first in the Metropolitan Division.

“We weren’t very good, and they were good. I give them a lot of credit for doing what they wanted to do,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We were able to capitalize on a few of their mistakes. Our goalie obviously was great tonight.”

Jack Hughes scored, and Bratt had an assist for the Devils (21-9-2), who have lost six in a row and ended a 12-game road point streak (11-1-1).

“Missed nets on some great opportunities, in on breakaways [when] we don’t score,” New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff said. “There was a lot of stuff I thought we did really well. We had about four breakdowns and three of them on goals. When we beat ourselves on those goals and you’re not scoring, we needed to hang around the game a little bit tighter.”

Video: [email protected]: Kotkaniemi jams home the opening goal

Vitek Vanecek allowed three goals on 13 shots before being replaced at the start of the third period by Mackenzie Blackwood, who made six saves. Blackwood, who was recalled Monday from a conditioning stint with Utica of the American Hockey League, made his first NHL appearance since sustaining an MCL sprain Nov. 3 against the Edmonton Oilers.

Kotkaniemi gave Carolina a 1-0 lead 20 seconds into the first period when he received a pass from Seth Jarvis and scored on his own rebound at the top of the crease.

“That’s pretty big. We get a nice start there right away, get the crowd going on our side,” Kotkaniemi said. “It wasn’t our best game tonight, but it’s good to get on the board early.”

Staal scored off the rush with a wrist shot from the left face-off circle past Vanecek’s glove to extend it to 2-0 at 4:17 of the second period.

Teuvo Teravainen made it 3-0 at 6:21 with a short-handed goal. Teravainen received a pass from Slavin in the neutral zone and scored from above the right circle through the legs of the Devils forward Alexander Holtz.

“Too many odd-man rushes. It cost us goals,” New Jersey captain Nico Hischier said. “It wasn’t lacking on compete tonight. I think we battled hard. We’re just beating ourselves right now and that’s definitely frustrating.

“At some point, it’s not acceptable anymore. We’ve just got to be smarter. We’re beating ourselves here.”

Hughes cut it to 3-1 at 15:24 of the third period when he cut around Teravainen and scored a low blocker before Stefan Noesen flipped a shot off Blackwood’s back from behind the goal line at 16:46 for the 4-1 final.

Video: [email protected]: Noesen banks in a shot off the goaltender

Noesen extended his point streak to four games (three goals, one assist).

“He’s good around the net. He’s very crafty,” Brind’Amour said. “That was a big goal. It kind of put the game away.”

NOTES: Kochetkov has won five starts in a row and is 8-0-2 in his past 10 games (nine starts), tying Cam Ward for the Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers franchise record (8-0-2 in 2017-18; 6-0 -4 in 2015-16; 9-0-1 in 2008-09). … New Jersey is 11-2-1 on the road, including a 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 13 to open the season. … Staal has scored the game-winning goal in consecutive games for the first time with Carolina, including a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. … Jarvis played his 100th NHL game. … Vanecek played his 100th NHL game (94th start). … Hurricanes defenseman Brent Burns played his 1,283rd NHL game, tying former Devils defenseman Ken Danyeko for 22nd among defensemen in League history.

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