Tough loss for the Canes
The Carolina Hurricanes let one get away Friday, a stinger of a loss.
The Anaheim Ducks tied the score late in regulation, then won 2-1 on Ryan Getzlaf’s breakaway goal at 1:15 of overtime at PNC Arena. The Canes picked up a point but were too close to claiming two to find any consolation in it.
“You can call it a gut punch,” Canes defenseman Justin Faulk said.
Andrei Svechnikov’s first-period goal had staked the Canes to a 1-0 lead and it stayed that way into the third period of a physical, hard-fought game on “Hockey Fights Cancer” night. It was goalie Curtis McElhinney for the Canes and John Gibson for the Ducks, both making high-quality saves.
The Ducks, who have won five of their last six, tied the score with 3:50 left in regulation. Adam Henrique attempted a shot to McElhinney’s left, the puck going off the stick of defenseman Calvin de Haan. Both Pontus Aberg and Henrique took whacks at it in midair, the puck going over McElhinney’s left shoulder and into the net -- Aberg credited with the goal.
“They got a lucky goal to tie it up. That’s really what that was,” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Then their skill player took over at the end.”
In overtime, Getzlaf won the opening draw against Jordan Staal and the Ducks methodically kept possession of the puck, drawing some boos from Canes fans. But defenseman Hampus Lindholm, healthy and back in the lineup, hit Getzlaf with a stretch pass -- Faulk diving to try and break it up but missing the puck -- and Getzlaf beat McElhinney high to the glove side.
The Canes (12-9-4) were without their most physical player, forward Micheal Ferland, who leads the team in goals (11) and hits (81). Brind’Amour said Friday that Ferland had been diagnosed with a concussion and will be sidelined indefinitely.
But Svechnikov played with an edge. So did Brock McGinn, Jordan Staal and others as the Ducks attempted to used their size to slow down and wear down the Canes.
The aggressiveness by the Ducks (13-10-5) resulted in penalties and six Canes power plays, but Anaheim killed off all six as Gibson turned back 15 shots.
“The power play needed to get one. That puts it away,” Brind’Amour said.
Svechnikov’s goal, his sixth of his rookie season, held up until late in the third as McElhinney, bidding for a fifth straight win, passed every test. Anaheim, last in the league in shots per game, was outshot 21-6 in the first period as the Canes dictated play.
“Luckily enough, our goaltender stood on his head and kept it to a one-goal game.” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said.
Before Svechnikov’s score, Gibson stymied back-to-back shorthanded chances by Warren Foegele and Jordan Martinook, then used his right pad to stop a breakaway by Dougie Hamilton.
But Svechnikov, off the rush, unleased a shot through bodies that Gibson couldn’t track with 1:03 left in the period.
Hamilton and Sebastian Aho earned assists on the goal and defenseman Jaccob Slavin had a key play to begin the scoring sequence, tipping the puck away from Aberg in the defensive zone after Aberg made a quick move past Hamilton.
“We didn’t follow up that first period like we needed to,” Faulk said.
McElhinney had some key saves midway through the second, first on Ryan Kesler, then Andrew Cogliano in the slot. He also had help in front of him, as Faulk knocked the puck away from a driving Aberg, then later blocked an Aberg shot from the low slot.
Gibson kept it a 1-0 game four minutes into the third, denying Phil Di Giuseppe on a forehand-to-backhand attempt on a partial breakaway.
“He was good and our guy was good, too,” Brind’Amour said.
This was a game more about tight-checking and gritty play, in the corners and especially in front of the net.
The Canes’ McGinn took a big hit from Getzlaf but also got in a few of his own. In the third, Staal stepped into Rickard Rakell as Rakell tried to carry the puck up ice -- a huge collision that had Rakell and Staal going face to face, although no punches were thrown.