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Hurricanes’ Brind’Amour still thinks struggling power play can start anew

Canes on verge of being eliminated

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour reviews the 2-1 playoff loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals while also looking ahead to Game 4 at PNC Arena. The Canes must win May 16, 2019 to extend their season.
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Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour reviews the 2-1 playoff loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals while also looking ahead to Game 4 at PNC Arena. The Canes must win May 16, 2019 to extend their season.

The Carolina Hurricanes made the Eastern Conference finals in spite of a misfiring power play that is just 5-for-50 in the postseason and 1-for-12 in this series, with the Hurricanes facing elimination Thursday night against the Boston Bruins in Game 4.

But Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Thursday morning he thinks every game starts anew, even in a skid like this.

“I don’t think one game leads into another, but I know if you get a power play and it doesn’t go well, you can feel it on the bench,” Brind’Amour said. “That’s the danger. A good power play, whether you score or not, it creates momentum. And it does, especially when there’s so much riding on it.

“We know we’ve struggled. It would be nice to get one, obviously. It would be huge if we do. But I don’t think what’s gone on has any impact yet. It might.”

The Hurricanes had 43 seconds of two-man advantage in the first period of Game 3 and failed to score, a fatal shortcoming in that game as it turns out.

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Carolina’s Teuvo Teravainen (86) takes the puck past Boston’s Zdeno Chara (33) during the first period of the Carolina Hurricanes’ game against the Boston Bruins in game three of the Eastern Conference finals at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. Tuesday, May 14, 2019. Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen said when the power play isn’t producing, “You start to overthink, maybe. But overall, it’s about working harder than the other team.”

Teravainen’s solution: “Just outwork the D-man and get some shots and create traffic at the net. It’s pretty simple but keep working and hopefully we’ll get the bounce.”

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY Many were surprised when Teravainen misfired on his first shot in Game 3. Unchecked, looking an open net and Teravainen couldn’t bury his shot from the right circle.

The Canes could have taken a 1-0 lead just 18 seconds into the game and the decibel count could have been dangerously high. Instead, the Bruins withstood the Canes’ hard push in the first period -- goalie Tuukka Rask stopped all 20 Carolina shots -- and took a 2-1 victory.

“It was a pretty hard pass and the puck rolled over my stick at the same time, too,” Teravainen said Thursday. “From what I heard it might have been a goaltender interference, too. It’s tough to think about those things.”

Justin Williams and Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes address media on May 15, 2019, a day before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. Trailing the Boston Bruins 3-0 in the series, the Canes players remain hopeful of a comeback.

DISTANT REPLAY While Brind’Amour gave another lengthy speech encouraging more instant-replay reviews in hockey after Wednesday night’s uncalled hand pass on the San Jose Sharks’ overtime winner against the St. Louis Blues, his players had less to say about it Thursday morning.

“I didn’t see it,” Dougie Hamilton said.

“We don’t worry about that,” Andrei Svechnikov said. “We’re focused on tonight.”

RESET Facing a 3-0 hole in the series, Hamilton said the Hurricanes tried to rally their spirits during the day off Wednesday. Only four teams — out of 189 in NHL history — have come back from that deficit.

“We just tried to reset and look forward at the opportunity that we have and try to do something special,” Hamilton said.

Staff writer Chip Alexander contributed to this report.

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Sports columnist Luke DeCock has covered the Summer Olympics, the Final Four, the Super Bowl and the Carolina Hurricanes’ Stanley Cup. He joined The News & Observer in 2000 to cover the Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a columnist in 2008. A native of Evanston, Ill., he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and has won multiple national and state awards for his columns and feature writing while twice being named North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year.
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