Tracking the Storm: Analysis
-- The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t find the finishing effort they needed on Sunday, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Edmonton Oilers. Goals from Matt Hendricks and Jordan Staal preserved a 1-1 tie from the end of the first period until just about midway through the third period, when Justin Schultz found the back of the net on the power play to propel the Oilers to victory. “It’s definitely not the outcome we wanted,” defenseman Justin Faulk said. “It’s tough right now when you’re fighting like that and you lose 2-1 on a third period goal you give up like that.”
-- This seems somewhat repetitive, but in a tight game such as this one, special teams again proved to be the difference. The Canes were 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Oilers were 1-for-4, with the game-deciding goal scored on a power play at the 9:01 mark of the third period. “There’s been enough time,” head coach Kirk Muller said of the team’s power play. “We changed personnel around and tried guys in different positions, but at the end of the day, it’s about getting results. Obviously it hasn’t been there.”
-- But it’s not as if the Canes didn’t have their opportunities – on the power play, or otherwise. The team put 30 shots on Ben Scrivens, four of those on the man advantage, but they couldn’t find the back of the net when they needed to most. “We just didn’t finish. We had a several good scoring chances,” Muller said. “The puck was on the right guys’ sticks, but we weren’t able to score one goal. We had a lot of opportunities to capitalize but didn’t.”
-- Jordan Staal’s tally with just 17 seconds left in the first period salvaged what wasn’t the best 20 minutes of hockey for the home team. As he batted in his own rebound off a pass from his brother, he also stretched his point streak to six games (3g, 6a).
-- Staal was hunched over in his stall, head in his hands following the game. “It’s frustrating,” he said, simply. “There are times when we play so well and do a lot of good things playing smart … and then there are times when it’s just not working. It’s frustrating, for sure.”
-- More Staal on where the Canes sit with 14 games remaining in the 2013-14 season: “It’s pretty obvious where we’re at right now, and we’d like to be somewhere else. It’s frustrating.”
-- A couple of injuries to note: Jiri Tlusty, who celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday, did not play due to a lower-body injury. Radek Dvorak left today’s game and did not return with an upper-body injury.
-- Following a noon practice on Monday in Raleigh, the Canes will embark on a three-game road swing that will take them through Columbus, Chicago and Winnipeg. “The only thing we can really do is go out and give it all you got every day, battle every day and take it one day at a time,” Muller said. “You can’t sit there and look at the standings, points, the what-ifs or whatever. It’s all about coming in tomorrow, getting a good practice in and starting all over again. That’s what we do. We’re all pros, and we’re expected to be at your best every day, and that’s what we have to be.”
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Justin Schultz broke a tie with a power-play goal in the third period, and Ben Scrivens made 29 saves to give the Edmonton Oilers a 2-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.
The Oilers (24-36-9) finished their four-game road trip 2-1-1. Edmonton is 9-4-2 in its past 15 games.
The Hurricanes (29-30-9) have lost nine of 12.
Scrivens, who gave up 10 goals in his prior two starts, won his 13th game of the season. He stopped Jordan Staal's bid from the slot with 49 seconds remaining to preserve the win.
Tied 1-1 in the third period, Schultz took a pass from David Perron, crept in from the right point, and used a couple screens to beat goalie Anton Khudobin to the far post at 9:01.
Edmonton forward Matt Hendricks started the scoring with his fifth goal of the season at 6:43 of the first period. After Boyd Gordon lifted a pass from the defensive zone to the offensive blue line, Hendricks lugged the puck behind the Carolina net, fought off defenseman Ryan Murphy, and centered the puck off defenseman Jay Harrison for the goal.
Carolina tied the game on Jordan Staal's 14th goal of the season. Staal batted in the rebound of his shot from the slot after taking a drop pass from Eric Staal. With the goal, Jordan Staal extended his scoring streak to six games (three goals, nine points).
The Oilers blocked 10 shots in the first period, several on two Carolina power plays.
The Hurricanes held a 10-8 advantage in shots in the second period. The best chance of the period came from Edmonton's Ryan Smyth, who fanned on a shorthanded breakaway.
Carolina forward Radek Dvorak left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury and did not return. Forward Jiri Tlusty was a late scratch with a lower-body injury sustained in a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday.