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Nordstrom blocks spur Hurricanes to shootout win over Predators

Chip Alexander, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.) on

Published in Hockey

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Hockey games aren't always won on slick offensive moves or acrobatic goaltender saves. It isn't about style points.

Sometimes, it's a player gritting his teeth and stepping in the way of a heavy slapshot.

Then, doing it again.

Joakim Nordstrom did that Sunday for the Carolina Hurricanes, blocking back-to-back shots in overtime by the Nashville Predators' P.K. Subban. It allowed the Canes to kill off a penalty against Jordan Staal and the Preds' four-on-three power play, and allowed them to escape overtime and eventually win 4-3 in a shootout at PNC Arena.

"Blocking those two bombs, we rallied around it," Canes forward Justin Williams said.

To stay in the thick of the playoff chase in the Eastern Conference, the Hurricanes (10-8-4) need more of that -- a willingness to accept the pain to make a play, to do whatever is necessary to secure two points.

 

"It hurts way more to see a puck go into the back of the net than to get hit by it," Nordstrom said. "It's an easy choice for me."

No one appreciated it more than Canes goalie Scott Darling, who once played with Nordstrom in Chicago and said, "That's 'Nordy' through and through. He would do that in the first minute of a game against any team."

And not just Nordstrom. Marcus Kruger and Jaccob Slavin also blocked shots in the overtime.

But for a team like the Hurricanes, that's what it's going to take. Everyone has a job to do and must do it.

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