Justin Williams scores twice as Hurricanes go into break with 4-1 win vs. Jets

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

Published in Hockey

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Teuvo Teravainen is headed to Finland. Sebastian Aho and Lucas Wallmark are going to the Bahamas, Warren Foegele to the Cayman Islands and Andrei Svechnikov to Mexico.

But before the NHL All-Star break, before their bye week, the Carolina Hurricanes had a game to play. And at times Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets, some of the Canes appeared to have mentally started their break a bit early.

But not Justin Williams. He was playing just his second game of the season and more than ready for it. Scoring a pair of goals, it was the old pro who led the Canes to a 4-1 victory at PNC Arena.

Williams' first game had a storybook ending, Williams scoring the deciding goal Sunday in the eighth round of a shootout to beat the New York Islanders, 2-1. Canes fans roared their approval as last year's captain, out of semi-retirement and back on the ice, provided a lot of the drama.

It was more vintage Williams, crafty and effective, on Tuesday. He kept his stick on the ice to redirect a Teravainen pass in the first period for a power-play score. In the third, he beat Jets forward Kyle Connor to the post for a backdoor score off a Svechnikov pass, a sneaky good play.

Teravainen finished with a goal and two assists and goalie Petr Mrazek, given the last start before the break, earned his 18th victory of the season. The Canes then played a little dodge ball in the Storm Surge after the game.

The Canes led 3-1 after the opening period as Martin Necas and Teravainen scored at even strength and Williams on the power play.

Judging by the score, one would believe the Canes dominated play in the period. Far from it. Williams, known for his candor, noted the Canes' not taking care of enough of the small details. Not enough zone clears, he said, not enough puck battles won.

Had Mrazek not been sharp in the first, it likely would have been closer. The Jets controlled the pace, were quicker to pucks.


Necas' goal was about speed and skill. Carrying the puck down the right wing, the forward darted to the front of the net and beat Hellebuyck with a backhander for his 12th of the season.

Aho and Teravainen teamed up for the third. Aho had a backhander stopped by Hellbuyck, but collected the puck behind the net and found Teravainen open to Hellebuyck's right, Teravainen going top-shelf on the shot.

The Jets, trying to avoid a three-game losing streak, played with more purpose in the second. But their scoring chances were limited and Williams third-period score was a dagger for Winnipeg.

The Canes (29-18-3) next play Jan. 31 against the Vegas Golden Knights at PNC Arena. Who knows what Williams, well-rested after playing two games, will have in store for his third game.

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