Fast’s late goal lifts Hurricanes to 4-3 win over Blackhawks

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 2, 2021

CHICAGO (AP) — Jesper Fast scored with 29 seconds remaining in regulation, Warren Foegele added two goals, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 on Thursday night.

Fast beat goaltender Kevin Lankinen from 15 feet, rebounding winger Vincent Trochek’s drive from the right side for the game-winner in the second game in three nights between the teams.

“You felt it had to be a grinder’s goal,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said of Fast’s score. “We weren’t getting a lot of traction off the rush. Then Fast gets in the greasy area and we get rewarded for it.”

“I heard Trochek yelling for the puck,” Fast said. “I gave it to him and headed for the net.”

The Hurricanes pulled within a point of co-leaders Tampa Bay and Florida in the Central Division. The Blackhawks remain tied with Nashville for the final playoff spot, and the teams meet on Saturday night.

“The last two periods, we got better,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We had our chances, but it’s probably going to take a few minutes before we can get over this one.”

Chicago’s Dylan Strome tied the game at 3, deftly deflecting Connor Murphy’s drive from the left point under the glove of Carolina goaltender James Reimer at 10:24 of the third.
Carolina had broken a 2-all tie on Foegele’s second goal of the game, a backhand that deflected off a skate of Chicago defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk 6:54 into the third. It was Foegele’s first multiple-goal game of the season.

Carolina dominated the first period, holding the Blackhawks to three shots and scoring the only goal. Trochek sent a wrist shot past goaltender Lankinen midway through the period, extending his point streak to eight games.

“We have to work, especially in the first period, to get the puck out of our zone,” Chicago forward Dominik Kubalik said. “The second and third, we showed we could play with them.”
Foegele made it 2-0 when his pass to Nino Niederreiter hit defenseman Duncan Keith’s skate and caromed past Lankinen 2:22 into the second period.

“I was just trying to get it to Nino,” Foegele said. “It’s funny how this game works. Sometimes, you get the bounce.”

Kubalik closed the gap to 2-1 with his 12th goal of the season with 4:39 left in the second. Kubilik took a stretch pass from rookie Wyatt Kalynuk and fended off defenseman Jaccob Slavin, whose slap to clear the puck beat Reimer. Kubalik was credited with the goal. It was Kalynuk’s first NHL point.

The Blackhawks forged their first tie when Brandon Hagel parked in the slot and watched Kirby Dach’s twice-deflected pass bounce off his right skate and into the net 5:46 into the third period.

Reimer made the last of his 22 saves on Dominik Kubalik with 40 seconds to play, clearing the path for Fast’s game-winner. Lankinen made 27 saves.


Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said he wasn’t exactly sure how he’ll work in three goalies once Petr Mrazek returns from the AHL, where he started a conditioning stint Thursday with the Chicago Wolves with a 41-save victory. Mrazak, who scored two shutouts in four games, had not played since a thumb injury on Jan. 30 that required surgery. James Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic have shared the net since.


Carolina opens a two-game series against Dallas at home on Saturday.
Chicago travels to Nashville for a single game on Saturday.


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