Tracking the Storm: Analysis from Anaheim
-- The Carolina Hurricanes coughed up a two-goal third period lead, and Ryan Getzlaf scored the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the Ducks to a 5-4 victory.
"We had a chance to bury them on the power play," Jordan Staal said. "After that, they're a good team. They can score goals, and they found a way to climb back on us and bury us on the first shift (of overtime)."
"It's disappointing," head coach Bill Peters said. "Any time you lose, it's disappointing."
-- The Hurricanes claimed a 4-2 lead in the third period, but the Ducks chipped that away, getting goals from Devante Smith-Pelly, a redirection in front, and Corey Perry, who found a loose puck in the slot.
This came after the Hurricanes failed to convert on a brief five-on-three advantage, which became a four-on-three advantage when Jeff Skinner was sent to the box.
"We played with them. We had them on the ropes, and we were right there," Staal said. "But that’s been said a few times throughout the year. It’s not good enough just to play with teams. We have to have that killer instinct that we haven’t found yet to bury teams. We’re right there, but it’s unfortunate that we lost that one.”
-- With the score even at two heading into the final 20 minutes, the third period was going to turn the game, one way or the other. Early in the period, the Hurricanes had a full two minutes worth of a five-on-three advantage thanks to a pair of penalties to Matt Beleskey and Ryan Getzlaf. The Canes put four shots on Andersen but he stopped them all, and the Ducks killed it off.
That could have been a back-breaker.
"They carried some momentum off of it," Staal said. "Obviously we would have liked to get a goal, but we got two quick ones after that, which was big for us."
Minutes later, Brad Malone busted into the zone and was hooked, leading to a penalty shot. The stick stayed hot, as Malone sniped his fifth goal of the season and his fourth in six games to put the Canes up 3-2.
"I just tried to get some speed," he said. "I just tried to take a quick shot, and luckily it found a hole."
"He's definitely capable. He's done a lot of good things as of late, and he had a big game for us tonight," Staal said. "He's a hell of a player, he works hard and he's a great teammate. We're glad to have him on our team."
A minute later, Jordan Staal poked in a rebound from a shot off his brother’s stick to put the Canes up a pair.
Shots favored Anaheim 15-3 after a scoreless first period. After Staal’s tally in the third, shots were even at 25, and the Canes had a 4-2 lead.
"I thought once we got through the first period, we played well," Peters said. "We've got to learn how to put games away. This isn't the first time this year that we've done that. We've got to have more guys all-hands-on-deck finding a way to get pucks out, get pucks deep and finding a way to block shots. I think we could have done a better job playing with the lead."
-- While the penalty kill has been on point as of late – they’ve killed 45 of their last 46 penalties – the power play has converted just twice in the last 23 tries.
"You can write up all the plays you want, but you need the guys out there that are going to find the ways to score goals. It doesn’t have to be a perfect set play; it can just be a quick play," Staal said. "Good players find openings, and we haven’t done that yet. It’s definitely been something that we’ve worked hard on, and we’re trying to move in the right direction.”
"You've got to continue to work on it and evaluate your personnel to make sure you have the right guys on it. If they are, then they have to execute better," Peters said. "Obviously that's the difference in the game, right?"
-- Alexander Semin factored in on the scoreboard for the second time in 28 games, and his goal came at a critical time. The Hurricanes were trailing the Ducks 1-0 in what was a sleepy first 29 minutes of the game. His top-shelf snap from inside the circles was vintage Semin, and it evened the score at one.
"There are certain guys in this league that can score from 50 feet, 45 feet. He's one of them," Peters said. "He's a dangerous guy, and he got free for a little bit in the slot and found a way to finish."
-- Goaltender Frederik Andersen, a former draft pick of the Hurricanes who chose not to sign with the organization, has been to go-to guy in Anaheim. Tonight was his 42nd appearance of the season, and he made 28 saves on 32 shots.
-- The Hurricanes will now travel to Arizona to take on the Coyotes on Thursday, the third game in a four-game road trip.
"It's frustrating to give up a two-goal lead and give one up in overtime, but I thought we played a pretty good game against a really good team," Malone said. "We'll take the positives out of it and move on to get ready for [Arizona]."