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Niederreiter, Hurricanes pull away to beat Blackhawks 5-3

Carolina Hurricanes' Nino Niederreiter (21) is congratulated on his goal by teammate Vincent...
Carolina Hurricanes' Nino Niederreiter (21) is congratulated on his goal by teammate Vincent Trocheck (16), center, and Jaccob Slavin (74) during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker | AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Published: Feb. 19, 2021 at 10:49 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nino Niederreiter had two goals and an assist, and the Carolina Hurricanes cooled off the Chicago Blackhawks with a 5-3 victory Friday.

Niederreiter capped his big night by scoring on the power play 15:04 into the third period, pushing the puck past Kevin Lankinen from the top of the crease. Niederreiter’s ninth goal of the season made it 4-2, putting the Hurricanes in control after quickly blowing a two-goal lead late in the second.

Martin Necas scored the go-ahead goal early in the third on the power play. Vincent Trocheck and Jaccob Slavin also found the net — with Slavin scoring on a long empty-netter with 3:14 left.

Patrick Kane had a spectacular goal and two assists for the Blackhawks, and Ian Mitchell scored in the final seconds before the second intermission to tie it at 2. Chicago’s other goal came from Carl Soderberg in the game’s final minute.

The Blackhawks had won three in a row and six of seven.

Lankinen finished with 33 saves, while Carolina’s James Reimer had 26 stops.

RETRO NIGHT

The Hurricanes had a retro look for this one with gray, green and blue uniforms invoking their former identity as the Hartford Whalers. They also broke out the Whalers’ famed “Brass Bonanza” theme song when they scored.

The Whalers played in the NHL from the 1979-80 season to 1996-97 before relocating to North Carolina, starting with a two-year stay in Greensboro before completion of their home arena in Raleigh where the franchise won its only Stanley Cup in 2006.

This was the fourth time Carolina has worn Whalers uniforms since the move.

SCHEDULE CHANGE

The Hurricanes and Blackhawks were due to meet Saturday in the second half of a two-game set, but the NHL announced a schedule revision Friday morning that pushed that meeting to a to-be-determined later date.

Instead, the league moved up Tampa Bay’s March 28 visit to Carolina in a replacement matchup for the Hurricanes.

UP NEXT

Blackhawks: With Saturday’s game at Carolina postponed, the Blackhawks continue what is now a five-game road trip with the first of two straight games at Columbus on Tuesday.

Hurricanes: Carolina plays the first of four straight games against Tampa Bay on Saturday, followed by a second home matchup Monday that closes a five-game homestead and then two road games against the Lightning next week.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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