Tracking the Storm: Analysis
-- The Columbus Blue Jackets bested the Carolina Hurricanes in the special teams battle, and in turn, won the third of four meetings between the two teams this season by a score of 4-3 in a shootout.
"They got better. They built a game on the road, competed harder and took advantage of their power plays," head coach Bill Peters said. "I don't think we did a good job staying with it."
"I think we stopped working. We've got to work harder," Victor Rask said. "We had a 3-1 lead, and we should be better than that."
-- After not allowing two power-play goals in one game since Oct. 11, the Canes have now done so in two straight games, and tonight they surrendered three goals on the man advantage for the first time all season. The departures of penalty killers Andrej Sekera and Tim Gleason factor in to this, no doubt, but it should be noted that the Canes have been penalized more in the last two games, as well. In the four games prior, the Canes were shorthanded just four times; in the last two, the team has taken eight penalties.
"We’ve got to stay out of the box. It’s obviously not going the way we want right now," Justin Faulk said. "When it’s like that, you just have to do everything to stay out of the box."
"We’ve given up five (power-play goals) here in the last two games, right? That’s a lot. That’s a months worth," Peters said. "There are some new people on that are going to have to dig in and figure it out. We’re going to have to take what was once a strength and is now a weakness, obviously, and turn it back into a strength."
Scott Hartnell netted two of the Blue Jackets’ three power-play goals, both grinding, bang-in shots from the slot, and Rene Borque had the other, a deflection in front.
"We were playing well, and things were going well. We knew they were going to push back," Faulk said. "They’re not a team that just caves or folds when they get behind. They did that and capitalized on their opportunities."
-- On the other side of the special teams game, the Canes netted two power play goals of their own. Victor Rask had the first tally on the man advantage, a rocket from the top of the far faceoff dot. Eric Staal had the other, as Ryan Murphy’s point blast bounced off him and in.
"It’s important to get shots right at the start, and then you can build from there," Rask said of the power play. "The shot is most important."
"Getting shots. Both were kind of one-timers," Faulk said of power-play strategy. "Getting shots and getting pucks back. When you do that, things go well, and obviously they were doing it too on their power play, and it was working. It was a tough special teams battle tonight, and we ended up on the wrong side of it, which cost us."
-- Justin Faulk tallied three first-period points (1g, 2a), marking the first time a defenseman has score a trio of points in one period since John-Michael Liles on April 3, 2014, and only the second time since Bret Hedican on Oct. 24, 2007. Per Elias Sports Bureau, the franchise’s only other defenseman to post three points in the first period of a game was Brad Shaw, who had three assists for Hartford on March 21, 1990.
-- The Hurricanes carried a 3-1 lead to the locker room after one period. After that, though, Peters said Columbus took over the game.
"We had a lot of pucks that seemed to be in our feet or behind us. Our intensity dropped off, and theirs picked up," he said. "Next thing you know, they’re on the body and playing a good road game. We didn’t have a response or answer."
-- Evgeny Romasko, the NHL’s first Russian official, worked his second game in as many nights after making his debut in Detroit on Monday. Nick Cotsonika penned a good read about him here.
-- The Canes’ every-other-day schedule continues when the team hosts the Dallas Stars on Thursday, the fourth game in a five-game homestand.
"I thought we stopped working, to be honest with you. I don’t think we competed as hard, and we didn’t execute very well with the puck," Peters said. "We maybe thought it was going to be easy and continue to get two or three a period without putting the work in, but it doesn’t work that way."