Tracking the Storm: Analysis from Philadelphia
-- The Carolina Hurricanes could not weather the storm on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia, as they were bested 5-1 by the Flyers. Eric Staal netted the Hurricanes’ lone goal, as Carolina falls to 8-18-3 on the season.
"There's not a lot to take away," head coach Bill Peters said. "I thought it was over early."
"It's been real frustrating," Eric Staal said. "We've played some good hockey in the few before tonight, but tonight was not good enough all-around anywhere."
-- This one was rotten from the outset. The Flyers got onto the board just 53 seconds into the game. Eric Staal had the puck poked off his stick below his own goal line, and as Anton Khudobin slid out of the net, Sean Couturier stuffed it in along the far side.
"We gave up one in the first minute on the second shift," Peters said. "I thought we made it easy on them."
About 10 minutes later, Wayne Simmonds blasted one from the top of the far circle, beating Khudobin on his blocker side.
"I didn't think our execution was very good, especially early obviously," Staal said. "A few too many puck plays that ended up back in our end. Good chances for them, and they capitalized."
After 20 minutes, it was a 2-0 lead for Philadelphia, , marking the 15th game in which the Canes trailed after one period. The Hurricanes have now been outscored 30-18 in first periods this season, and the opponent has scored first at a 62 percent (18 of 29) clip.
-- Though Eric Staal would bring the Canes within a goal early in the second period, that’s as close as it would get.
On the team’s first power play of the game, Staal rushed in, slid around the back of the net and finished a wrap-around opportunity on the other side, his seventh goal of the season and first in 10 games.
"When you make it 2-1 there, you try to hope for some life and climb back in it," Staal said. "But they've got a good power play, we took a penalty right after it and they countered."
Then, Philadelphia poured it on, and it was only a one-goal game for about three minutes. Jakub Voracek (on the power play), Scott Laughton (his first-career goal) and Michael Raffl potted goals for the Flyers to make it a 5-1 game heading into the second intermission.
"From there, we weren't able to get anything going," Staal said of Philadelphia's third goal. "At that point, it's tough [to regain momentum]. But I don't think we were good enough overall anyway. It's one of those nights where all-around execution and commitment to things we've been doing well wasn't good enough."
"We needed a kill there. It was 2-1, they went on the power play and scored," Peters said. "They got another one -- I don't know what the time frame was, but it seemed quick -- that put it away, in essence. We didn't have enough to come back."
-- The Canes have now lost five in a row, and in each game, they’ve managed to find the back of the net just once. Coming into today’s game, the Hurricanes had dropped three of four by just a goal’s difference, and obviously today, that gap was much wider.
"It's one of those nights where we just weren't sharp enough," Staal said. "That is a tough building, and if they get that momentum early, they get feeling good and creating a lot more."
-- After nine starts in net, Anton Khudobin remains winless this season. This wasn’t his sharpest effort, contrary to his body of work for much of this season, as he made 18 saves on 23 shots.
-- The last game in which the Hurricanes surrendered five goals was a 5-0 loss in Calgary on Oct. 23.
-- The Canes will play in Montreal on Tuesday, the third of three straight away from home. But first, they’ll return to Raleigh for the latter half of the weekend and a Monday practice.
"We'll have a day off tomorrow and a good practice [on Monday]," Peters said. "We've got to compete, be better defensively, manage the puck, move the puck better and that will give us a better chance."
"Execution. Crispness. Sharpness. Passing. Details," Staal said of what needs to improve in Montreal. "Everything we've been doing well. We've got to get back to it."