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But there would be no comeback for a third straight game as the Canes fell behind yet again in the first period -- and despite 33 saves by Cam Ward – were on the short end of a 3-1 score.
The players and coach Peter Laviolette said the team just spent too much time in the penalty box, breaking up the substitution rhythm, to beat a club as talented as the Red Wings.
“This goes to show that we’re capable of playing with the defending Stanley Cup champions,” Ward said. “Everybody in this locker room would probably agree that this wasn’t our strongest game, so we’ll try to learn from this. We need to realize we’ve got to play a full 60 minutes and not just play in spurts.”
“I do think there can be team building, and getting out and away from here could be good,” Laviolette said. “That many in a row on the road could be difficult, but you can use it to your advantage as well, trying to build some momentum before coming home.”
The Canes could muster little momentum on this night, getting just a lone goal by Joe Corvo 56 seconds into the second period after scoring a combined 10 goals in the first two games, losing for the first time this season.
“It takes us out of the flow; it seemed like we didn’t have any even-strength shifts the whole period,” said Rod Brind’Amour. “Guys are just sitting there and you just never get any kind of rhythm going. Their power play is just too good to give them that many chances.”
The Canes allowed four goals in 13 shorthanded chances coming in and gave up another one less than seven minutes in as Ward was screened on a 40-footer from Nicklas Lidstrom. It was the third straight game to start the season that
“We came out with a better stride in the second period and started to generate some chances but then you’ve got guys sitting for six minutes,” Laviolette said. “We’ve been taking lazy penalties for the first three games. These hooking and holding penalties have to stop because they are going to kill us.”
NOTES: Defensemen Anton Babchuk and Josef Melichar were healthy scratches for the third straight game. … Corvo has eight goals in 26 games for