|PHX||1||1||2||(0 - 0)||4|
|CAR||1||2||0||(0 - 0)||3|
Tracking the Storm: Analysis
The Carolina Hurricanes let one get away on Wednesday night at the RBC Center against a team that had played the night before. Leading 3-1 in the second period, the Canes gave up three unanswered goals to drop a 4-3 decision to the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. Lauri Korpikoski had the game-winning goal for the Coyotes. After the game, Hurricanes captain Eric Staal put the loss on his shoulders. “I’ve got to be the best player on the ice, and I wasn’t,” he said. “It’s no fun. No excuse, I’ve got to be better than I was tonight. I’ve got to be there for our team and be the guy to step up in a situation when things don’t go our way.”
Korpikoski’s goal was scored 4-on-4, a situation in which the Canes are dreadful this season. That’s the seventh 4-on-4 goal they’ve surrendered while scoring none. Coming into tonight’s game, the Canes were 9-0-2 when leading after two periods. Something about the Coyotes’ second goal in the middle frame seemed to shift the momentum; the Canes had Phoenix down and out at 3-1, and Cal O’Reilly’s goal changed the tides. “We deflated when they scored,” Staal said. “When things go wrong, we kind of shell up.”
Head coach Kirk Muller spoke to Staal’s point about shelling up, saying that the team has to be more resilient. After the second goal, Muller noticed a shift in the team’s body language but thought they could regroup in the intermission. “We play really well for the most part,” he said. “But it seems like when a certain situation happens, it deflates us, and there’s no reason for it.”
And it’s not like the Canes were without their chances. They had 37 shots on net, Phoenix blocked 27 shots and 18 missed the net, which totals to 82 opportunities, but over half didn’t get to Jason LaBarbera. Phoenix didn’t have many chances, either – they put just 19 shots on Cam Ward, but they took advantage of those limited opportunities. Riley Nash made his National Hockey League debut tonight. He played just over 13 minutes, and was centering Staal and Drayson Bowman in the third period. He struggled in the face-off dot, winning just three of 13 draws, but Muller was impressed with his overall game. “I think he’s got great hockey sense,” Muller said. “It’s a big jump, and the pace is quicker. I thought he read a lot of the plays well tonight. I thought he looked comfortable.”
The key to Friday’s match-up with the Ottawa Senators will be finishing. Two games in a row now the Hurricanes have had a solid second period, only to be let down in the third period for whatever reason. With tonight’s postgame comments from a clearly dejected Staal, look for him to be a big factor for the team two days from now. ““I want to win. I want to be in the playoffs. I want to win in this market again. And it hasn’t happened. It’s been extremely frustrating,” he said. “But what am I going to do? I’m not going to sit here and feel sorry for myself. I need to step up and be better, regardless.”
Recap (Associated Press)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Two games in two nights on an East Coast road swing didn't bother the Phoenix Coyotes. They just went out and won both games.
Lauri Korpikoski and Ray Whitney each had a goal and an assist to lead the Coyotes to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night, a day after they won at Florida.
"We had the mindset that if we would come out and play well then we could get the four points," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "Even though we didn't play as well as we liked all the time, we still got the four points and that's a good sign."
Cal O'Reilly and Rostislav Klesla also scored for Phoenix and Jason LaBarbera stopped 34 shots as the Coyotes improved to 4-1 in the second game of back-to-back contests.
Korpikoski scored the game-winner at 10:48 of the third period after being set up by Derek Morris and Whitney as Phoenix won for the first time in 13 games (1-11-1) when it trailed at the start of the third period.
On the other side, Carolina suffered its first loss in regulation after holding a two-period lead, dropping to 9-1-2.
Kirk Muller, who coached his 10th game with the Hurricanes, said his team - which led 3-1 in the second period - still needs to find a way to finish games strong.
"What we have to learn is to be more resilient," Muller said. "We got that third goal and I thought we were in good shape. When they got that second goal and you can see our body language and the team dropped its energy.
"That's what we've got to get away from. We still had the lead, so I thought we were still in good shape."
Phoenix cut the margin to 3-2 with 6:36 left in the second when O'Reilly beat Ward high on the glove side. The Coyotes tied it early in the third period as Klesla got his first goal of the season at 4:20.
Whitney, a former Hurricanes player, opened the scoring when his blast from the left point on the power play at 2:16 of the first period got by Ward.
"Certainly getting that first one was a relief for me," said Whitney, who leads the Coyotes in scoring with 32 points. "It gives you a little bit of confidence and you get it out of the way."
Carolina tied it 7 minutes later when Ruutu scored from just outside the crease after taking a rebound and flicking it past LaBarbera at 9:21.
The Hurricanes scored twice in the second period as Nodl got his first goal for Carolina at 5:29, and Tlusty notched his seventh of the season after rushing up the left wing and blasting a drive by LaBarbera.
NOTES-Carolina D Jaroslav Spacek got an assist to give him four points (1g, 3a) since being acquired from Montreal five games ago. ... Whitney has 11 career goals against Carolina and registered multiple points in both games of the road trip. ... Klesla broke a 41-game goal-scoring drought with his tally in the third. ... The Hurricanes were 0 of 3 on the power play, while Phoenix converted 1 of 2 chances.
|PPG - Ray Whitney (12) ASST: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (7), Martin Hanzal (14)|
1 - 0 PHX
|Tuomo Ruutu (11) ASST: Alexei Ponikarovsky (5), Jussi Jokinen (16)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Andreas Nodl (1) ASST: Jaroslav Spacek (6)|
2 - 1 CAR
|Jiri Tlusty (7) ASST: Justin Faulk (4), Jay Harrison (8)|
3 - 1 CAR
|Cal O'Reilly (2) ASST: David Rundblad (4), Kyle Chipchura (4)|
3 - 2 CAR
|Rostislav Klesla (1) ASST: Lauri Korpikoski (7), Daymond Langkow (10)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Lauri Korpikoski (9) ASST: Derek Morris (7), Ray Whitney (20)|
4 - 3 PHX
|Jay Harrison Interference against Lauri Korpikoski|
|Derek Morris Interference against Anthony Stewart|
|Boyd Gordon Hooking against Jiri Tlusty|
|Derek Morris Tripping against Alexei Ponikarovsky|
|Martin Hanzal Slashing against Jussi Jokinen|
|Jussi Jokinen Cross checking against Martin Hanzal|
|SA: 37||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 34||EV: 27 - 30|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 7|
|SV%: .919||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 19||TOI: 58:53|
|Saves: 15||EV: 14 - 17|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 2|
|SV%: .789||SH: 0 - 0|