NHL Recap: Panthers, Hurricanes, Stars, Kings & More

The daily “NHL Recap” column is your go-to for the top quotes from every game in the NHL. Listen to THW contributors talk hockey every weekday on The Hockey Writers Podcast, available on iHeartRadio and wherever you listen to podcasts.

In this edition of NHL Recap, these are the top quotes from players and coaches following all games played on Feb. 18, 2022:

Nashville Predators @ Carolina Hurricanes

Final Score: Hurricanes 5-3 Predators

The Carolina Hurricanes hang on to win, 5-3, on Friday, despite a late comeback effort by the Nashville Predators. After taking a 4-1 lead at 6:43 of the third period, Hurricanes goaltender Frederick Andersen had to be sharp against the Predators’ relentless pushback, which saw it score two consecutive goals to bring it back within a one-goal game at 17:49.

Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour: “It was a close game. Both teams played really hard, especially early. ‘Freddie’ made some real big saves in there at crucial times.”

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour
Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina Hurricanes (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The Predators drop a fourth consecutive contest, unable to keep up with the Hurricanes’ scoring. Nashville is struggling as of late, and trying to return to a successful style of hockey.

Predators head coach John Hynes: “There’s times and places to be able to make plays, but when you don’t have speed and you don’t have support and you don’t have numbers on the puck, and you’re getting checked the way that we were getting checked, we weren’t able to get to the game that we wanted to regularly. So those are some areas we’ll address.”

Florida Panthers @ Minnesota Wild

Final Score: Panthers 6-2 Wild

The Florida Panthers are on a two-game winning streak with a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday. Florida’s high-octane offense was led by forward Mason Marchment, who tallied three goals on the night for the first hat trick of his NHL career.

Panthers forward Mason Marchment: “We’re on the same page most games and that’s just something we gotta work on, just keep on the gas and just keep going. Tonight is one of those nights where it’s going in. Just keep rolling with it.”

Mason Marchment Florida Panthers
Mason Marchment, Florida Panthers (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Wild held an early 1-0 lead, with forward Kirill Kaprizov opening the scoring at 7:07 of the first period. The Panthers responded with four consecutive goals, taking advantage of some sloppy plays by Minnesota, before the Wild scored its final goal of the night, from forward Mats Zuccarello at 9:42 of the third period.

Wild head coach Dean Evason: “We were unintelligent. We never talk about obviously being better than a team or whatever, but we weren’t worse than that team tonight. We just made worse mistakes. Our start was great. Our energy level was great. The way we competed, how we were playing the game. We turned the puck over and another mistake on the second one and third. Then it snowballed on us.”

Dallas Stars @ Chicago Blackhawks

Final Score (SO): Stars 1-0 Blackhawks

The Dallas Stars ignited a two-game winning streak with a 1-0 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. Goaltenders were the story of the night, with Dallas’ Jake Oettinger making 34 saves and coming out on top after a six-round shootout against one of his childhood idols, Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Stars head coach Rick Bowness: “[Oettinger]’s on his game right now, and we need him. He’s making huge saves for us. We played really well defensively, and so did they. That was probably the best defensive game they played in a while. I’m sure (Chicago coach) Derek (King) got after them after giving up seven last night. And [Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre] Fleury was great for them. He made some phenomenal saves for them, but Jake made the big saves at the right time.”

Rick Bowness Dallas Stars
Rick Bowness, Dallas Stars (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

It’s not too often you read this, but Fleury posted a shutout despite the Blackhawks’ loss on Friday. Stopping all 29 shots he faced in regulation and overtime combined, it marked the 71st shutout of his career.

Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury: “Ah, it happens. We didn’t play bad, though, right? All game we hung in there and didn’t do too much. Had to go all the way to settle it down. Still disappointing to come out with a loss when you’re so close to getting that win. It would be nice to get one there at home.”

Los Angeles Kings @ Vegas Golden Knights

Final Score (OT): Kings 4-3 Golden Knights

The Los Angeles Kings came out on top with a 4-3 overtime win against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. The Kings trailed by two goals in the first period, came back to tie it with a late first-period goal and early second-period goal, then fell back down by one goal before evening it up again by the end of the second period. Its only lead of the game came from the overtime-winning goal by forward Adrian Kempe.

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Kings forward Adrian Kempe: “Going back a couple years, we’ve always had tight games against Vegas, but I felt like the past couple years they’ve always been the team to get that extra point at the end. Vegas is a team that we’re gonna have to beat, on the road sometimes, to get the huge points. Now we got the two points tonight, and that was big for us, and we’ve got to keep playing this way for the rest of the season if we’re gonna have a shot at the playoffs.”

Adrian Kempe Los Angeles Kings
Adrian Kempe, Los Angeles Kings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

The Golden Knights are struggling in the midst of a three-game winless skid. Despite having multiple opportunities to skate away with the win, it kept allowing the Kings back in, until Los Angeles stole it from them in overtime.

Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer: “I didn’t love our night. We found a way to scrape a point out but wasn’t our finest effort in my mind. … The more points we drop, the easier that desperation will come.”