Carolina Hurricanes coach Bill Peters allows assistant coach Rod Brind’Amour to take charge of the team’s power play.
But as Peters said Saturday, “I think we have to make some personnel changes myself. It will be my opinion, my two cents.”
Something has to give. After going 0-for-3 on the power play with one shot Saturday in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canes are 1-for-26 in the past 10 games and 0-for-14 in the past five.
Peters likes to break the season up into five-game segments. Other than Jeff Skinner’s power-play goal against the Anaheim Ducks on Oct. 29, everything else has come up empty the past two segments.
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When a team fails to convert on five power plays and wins 3-1, as the Canes did Tuesday against the Florida Panthers, it goes on a checklist for things to be corrected in a later practice. But on Saturday, it denied the Canes (6-5-4) a point they can’t afford to be giving away and ended a two-game win streak.
“It’s costing us in some situations where we need a bit of a jump, where we could use one from the PP (power play), but we’re not getting it,” Skinner said.
On the Canes’ first power play Saturday, the Blackhawks had more scoring chances than Carolina. The Blackhawks’ Brandon Saad shook free on a shorthanded breakaway, forcing a penalty shot as defenseman Noah Hanifin tried to corral the speedy forward and slashed him.
Canes goalie Scott Darling easily denied Saad’s attempt, although Saad would later be the one to beat his former Blackhawks teammate for the overtime winner.
Speaking of overtime …
Whether it’s execution, shot selection, a lack of finish or lack of confidence, the Canes can’t find a way to win in those three-on-three overtime sessions the fans tend to love and the goalies probably dread.
The Canes have had five games go beyond regulation this season, winning the season-opener in a shootout against Minnesota but losing the past four. They were pretty dominant three-on-three against Anaheim and Arizona but couldn’t score, losing both games in shootouts.
On Saturday, first Elias Lindholm and then Justin Faulk had chances to end it for the Hurricanes early in the overtime. But backup goalie Anton Forsberg, in net for Chicago as Corey Crawford had the day off, made the two stops, and Saad soon beat Darling five-hole for the winner after a Canes’ defensive mixup.
“We may have to look at some personnel (changes) there, too,” Peters said of overtime.
The Canes, coming off a 3-1 road win Friday against Columbus, had other issues Saturday. They never trailed in the game until Saad’s goal, taking a 2-0 lead after the first period and 3-1 lead after two as Brock McGinn scored twice and Skinner notched his eighth of the season.
“In the third period, especially at home with a two-goal lead, you’ve got to able to close those out,” Canes forward Derek Ryan said.
But Alex DeBrincat scored the second of his two goals in the third and defenseman Gustav Forsling scored from the point on a shot that Darling couldn’t track or stop.
With the Canes leading 3-2, Skinner was looking at an open net but missed high and later was denied on a backhander by Forsberg.
“Sometimes you try to get those off as quick as you can,” Skinner said. “You’ve got to bear down, especially late in the game.”
And especially on the power play. And in overtime.