Petr Mrazek made the shutout look easy. He made it sound simple, too.
Mrazek on Friday stopped 32 shots as the Carolina Hurricanes scored twice in 63 seconds late in the second period to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 3-0.
The Carolina goalie credited his teammates with doing a good job limiting Arizona’s opportunities to shots from the perimeter.
“It was a really solid game for everyone,” Mrazek said after his third shutout of the season. “I could see every puck from everywhere, so everybody did a good job.”
Warren Foegele scored Carolina’s first goal, then Lucas Wallmark and Martin Necas scored just over a minute apart as the Hurricanes won their second consecutive game to improve to 4-2 in their seven-game homestand.
Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said that Mrazek’s shutout was more difficult than it looked.
Carolina played a strong first period as Foegele scored 14 minutes, 20 seconds into the game, but the Coyotes had some scoring chances in the second period.
However, Mrazek always looked as if he was thinking one step ahead of the Coyotes’ shooters and he seldom gave up a rebound after making the initial save.
“He was solid, especially the second period where we had a few turnovers and they came right at us,” Brind’Amour said. “I thought he came up huge, obviously, when we needed him to... They had some really good looks, but he made them look like easy saves, which they weren’t.”
Arizona averaged 4.5 goals per game over four straight wins from Dec. 31 through Jan. 7, but failed to score for the second straight game as Mrazek was sharp and Carolina’s penalty-killing unit was effective.
Arizona were none of three on the power play.
“I liked our game — obviously, we have to score goals,” said Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, whose team lost 4-0 at Tampa Bay on Thursday last week. “Six periods and we haven’t scored. We obviously need to score a goal.”
The Hurricanes were leading 1-0 when Wallmark’s tip of Dougie Hamilton’s shot went off Antti Raanta’s glove and head before landing in the goal 1:13 before the second intermission.
Necas increased the lead to 3-0 when he curled behind the net and lifted a backhander into the goal with 9.6 seconds remaining in the period.
Foegele is 23, Wallmark 24 and Necas a 20-year-old rookie — and each scored their 10th goal in just 44 games this season.
“We’re a young group and they’re a huge part of what we’re doing,” Brind’Amour said. “We need everyone to contribute, but it’s nice when they’re scoring. It takes a lot of pressure off of our other guys.”
A goalie as sharp as Mrazek can also take a lot of pressure off a team.
Arizona’s Raanta made 25 saves on 28 shots through two periods, while Adin Hill faced just one shot in the third period, but by the time Hill replaced Raanta after the second intermission the game was not even close because of Mrazek.
“We don’t always want to give up the amount of chances we did today, but he [Mrazek] played big,” Foegele said.
In Detroit, Michigan, Dylan Larkin scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Red Wings a 3-2 win over the skidding Senators.
Tyler Bertuzzi had a goal and an assist, while Larkin also scored in regulation for Detroit.
Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek had two assists.
Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves and thwarted Tyler Ennis, Anthony Duclair and Artem Anisimov in the tiebreaker.
Colin White had a goal and an assist, while Brady Tkachuk also scored for Ottawa, who lost their season-high sixth straight.
In Denver, Colorado, Jared McCann scored at 3:19 of overtime as the Penguins beat the Avalanche 4-3 for their fourth straight road win.
Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust each had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, who recovered from blowing a late lead to pick up the two points.
Matt Murray made 28 saves, Teddy Blueger also scored and Dominik Kahun had three assists.
The Avalanche tied the game with 30.4 seconds left in regulation when Matt Calvert tipped in a shot by Cale Makar.
Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist, while Nathan MacKinnon also scored for Colorado.
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