Tracking the Storm: Analysis
-- Though the Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t find the third goal to extend their winning streak to three games, they have now secured points in three straight games, as they dropped a 3-2 shootout decision to the Minnesota Wild. Ryan Murphy and Jiri Tlusty scored for the Hurricanes, who move to 6-7-4 (16 points) on the season. “It was a real hard-fought game,” Justin Peters said. “We played a real solid game, I thought, from start to finish.”
-- Minnesota was a perfect three-for-three in the shootout, getting goals from Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville. The Canes tossed out Riley Nash and Chris Terry; Nash rang the post and Terry roofed one on Harding to score. “I just wish I could have got one of those shootout goals to give us a chance, but they made some nice moves,” Peters said.
-- It maybe should have never reached the shootout, as the Hurricanes had a four-on-three man advantage for the last 1:07 of the game. Prior to that, they had a good half-minute of a five-on-four advantage as Peters went to the bench for the extra skater on the delayed penalty. As it turns out, their scoring chances might have been better on the delayed call. “We had them hemmed in the zone with a little bit of momentum,” Murphy said. “We got some good quality scoring chances out of it.”
-- Muller on the power play, which was 0-for-3 on the night: “It’s almost like you can’t dwell on it a lot or it’s just going to get into guys’ minds to the point where they’re going to be thinking so much and not let things go naturally. So it’s a very thin line, but at the end of the day we have to get results,” he said. “It’s an area that we just have to keep working on in practice, and they have to just use their instincts at times, as well.”
-- Still, the Canes would like to snag a shootout victory sooner rather than later, as it is a component of the game. Carolina is 0-3 in shootouts this season, their last win coming on April 23, 2013, a 4-3 win over the Islanders. “Tonight’s game could have gone either way in the shootout, and unfortunately it wasn’t our way,” Peters said.
-- Taken as a whole, though, the Canes have to be pleased with their effort. They’ve been building on their team game since snapping the five-game losing skid – and even prior to that in some aspects. It was said this morning that this game would be tight checking, and it lived up to that. Through 65 minutes, the score was even at two, shots were 30-29 in favor of Minnesota and the Canes had a 60-40 edge in the faceoff circle, largely due to the Staal brothers being a combined 21-of-31 (68 percent). “We have to be happy with the fact that we just played one of the top teams in the West that doesn’t give up any chances and doesn’t allow much. We said this would be a test for us to battle for three periods,” Muller said. “It was a chess match and a pretty good tempo game. I thought we got great opportunities, and we defended well. That was a good hockey game, and we played a good hockey team.”
-- The Canes’ previous two efforts have been low-scoring, grinding types of games. This one, for whatever reason, seemed to open up a bit more, as the Hurricanes generated more sustained pressure in the offensive zone. “It’s all coming together, to be honest with you. We’ve had a couple good, strong games lately,” Muller said. “We’re playing well in our own zone defensively. We’re getting that confidence to get pucks in the right areas. We’re skating better, and we’re spending more time in the offensive zone. I thought we looked like a quicker team tonight that created a lot more on the offensive side.”
-- The skills competition aside, Peters again gave the team a chance to win the game, and that’s all the Canes can ask. “We battled hard tonight. We played a full, 60-minute game. Petey helped us stay in it tonight,” Murphy said. “He’s kept us in every game. We should have capitalized when it came down to it on the four-on-three.”
-- Muller on Peters and the team defense: “thought he played well. I thought our D did a really good tonight in front of him, actually all five guys on the ice, as we say ‘protect the house’ around the net, giving up very low percentage second and third rebounds. We asked him to make the first saves, and he did.”
-- The Canes will continue their string of cross-conference match-ups when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. The Avs might be the hottest team in the league right now, but the Canes like the direction in which they’re trending. “We need everyone pushing and pulling in the same direction all the time,” Peters said. “We’ve proven to ourselves the last few games that when we do that we get results.”
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville scored in the shootout to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Saturday.
Wild goalie Josh Harding continued his remarkable start to the season with 28 saves. Hurricanes goaltender Justin Peters made 27.
The win was the first for Minnesota in Raleigh (1-3-1).
The Hurricanes had 1:07 of power-play time at the end of overtime after Mikael Granlund was called for hooking, after an additional 40 seconds with an extra attacker.
Pominville started the scoring on a breakaway 3:33 into the first period. Ryan Suter's long pass through center ice set up Pominville, who fired a shot over Peters' glove. The goal was the 200th of his career and the seventh in his past seven games.
The Hurricanes answered just more than one minute later when Ryan Murphy's wrist shot from above the right circle deflected off Wild defenseman Nate Prosser and fooled Harding. Drayson Bowman earned an assist, as did Peters for the first point of his career.
Carolina went up 2-1 in the second period after a strong forechecking shift. After Alexander Semin's pass from the boards deflected off Minnesota forward Charlie Coyle, Jiri Tlusty gathered the puck in the slot and slipped it between Harding's pads.
Minnesota tied the game seconds after the expiration of a power play. Marco Scandella's shot from the point was redirected by Justin Fontaine in the slot past Peters.
Carolina was whistled for four minor penalties through two periods, but the Wild's second-ranked power-play unit managed seven shots without a goal.
Suter logged 35:28 of ice time for Minnesota, two nights after setting a franchise record by playing 36:51 in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals.