Tracking the Storm: Analysis
-- The Carolina Hurricanes fell behind 2-0 to the Detroit Red Wings in the first period and couldn’t overcome that deficit, dropping a 3-1 decision on Sunday evening. Jay McClement netted the lone goal for the Hurricanes, his first of the season, and Petr Mrazek, making his third start of the season for Detroit, made 34 saves in his third win.
-- The first period wasn’t as lopsided as the score might have suggested; the Hurricanes went to the locker room down a pair on the scoreboard, but the play on the ice seemed much more even. The Canes killed off an early high sticking double-minor levied to Tim Gleason and controlled the pace of play for much of the period following that. Even still, head coach Bill Peters said the flow of the team early was hurt by the elongated penalty kill.
"You want to get everybody going and everybody in the game," he said. "It didn't really happen in the first, and then we fell behind. It made it very hard."
"I bet for fans it's just unbelievable to watch him," former teammate Andrej Nestrasil said of Datsyuk. "He's one-of-a-kind, that's for sure."
Exactly two minutes later, the puck took a hard carom off Justin Faulk’s stick, gifted to the forechecking Tomas Tatar. He centered one with speed that deflected off Sekera’s skate and in to give the Red Wings a two-goal lead.
"They're a puck possession team, and they did a lot of that to us in our end. We spent a lot of time there," McClement said. "One bad bounce, but they carried the play for parts of the game, and we couldn't seem to get enough pressure sustained shift after shift."
-- Detroit’s first two goal scorers hooked up in the second period to stretch the lead to 3-0, as Datsyuk fed Tatar with a no-look backhand pass, making it look easy.
"I'm happy for him, but it sucks for me because I wanted to win against them. That's just how it goes," Nestrasil said. "I think we play there the seventh of April which is a long time, but I'm already looking forward to it."
"It was starting to wear on me a little bit, so it's nice to get it out of the way, but more importantly, we just didn't do the things we needed to do to get the win tonight," McClement said. "That would have been a little sweeter."
-- Jeff Skinner led the team with 10 shots, nearly a third of the team's output for the game.
"I thought Skinny was dangerous. He ended up with a lot of shots and some good quality shots," Peters said. "Usually with the quality he has tonight, he finishes one of those. He and Staalsy were dangerous as a duo."
That said, though the team had quantity (35), Peters wasn't satisfied with the quality thrown at a goaltender making his third start of the season.
"No. It's a common theme," Peters said. "Traffic. Got to be in the goalie's eyes and make it very hard for him.
"We have shots, but we don't have net-front traffic. If you can get underneath them at the net, I thought those rebounds were coming off their guy a little bit tonight," he continued. "We've got to do a better job of that not only tonight but moving forward. If they see it at this level, they're going to save it."
"We had a few chances, and he made some saves," McClement said. "We've got to start trying to score some dirty ones. Second and third chances."
"I hope we have him," he said.
-- The Hurricanes were blanked on the man advantage, going 0-for-4 on the night. On the flip side of the special teams coin, they killed off all three of Detroit’s power plays, including a four-minute advantage in the first period.
-- The Hurricanes’ five-game homestand comes to a close on Monday when the New Jersey Devils come to town.