Canes Now

Teravainen, Canes try to get ‘little smile’ back

The Canes Teuvo Teravainen (86) and the Avs Mikhail Grigorenko (25) go for the puck during the first period.
The Canes Teuvo Teravainen (86) and the Avs Mikhail Grigorenko (25) go for the puck during the first period. cseward@newsobserver.com

Teuvo Teravainen didn’t experience many team scoring funks when he was with the Chicago Blackhawks. Not with those guys.

But the Carolina Hurricanes are in one. Since beating the New York Islanders 5-4 in overtime Feb. 4, the Canes have four goals in their past five games, all losses. Two were on the power play — by Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk — and Skinner and Sebastian Aho have the only five-on-five goals in that span as the Canes have twice been shut out.

How to end the slump?

“You have to stay positive and try to shoot even more,” Teravainen said Friday after the morning skate. “I don’t know, keep it simple. Sometimes, you haven’t scored and you try to do things too fancy. Just put the pucks in (the zone) and try to get some ugly ones and get your confidence back.

“When you’re having fun you play better. You want to play with that little smile on, and not try too hard.”

Not many are smiling. Victor Rask hasn’t had a point in the past 14 games and Derek Ryan in 13 games, and Brock McGinn has one assist in his past 13. Teravainen has gone without a point in the 0-4-1 slide while Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm and Lee Stempniak each have two assists in those five games.

In the 3-1 loss Tuesday to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Joakim Nordstrom and Teravainen each had first-period breakaways. Nordstrom’s shot was stopped by Pens goalie Matt Murray and Teravainen missed the net.

“I usually get one breakaway per year so I’m not that good at it,” Teravainen said, smiling. “Maybe next time I’ll try something different. I tried to move a little left and put it over the shoulder but just missed it a little bit.”

The Canes host the Ottawa Senators on Friday at PNC Arena and will face goalie Craig Anderson — Eddie Lack will start for the Canes.

In the Nov. 1 game in Ottawa, Anderson allowed an early goal to the Canes’ Jaccob Slavin but then shut the door and won 2-1 in overtime with 32 saves. Anderson had another 32 stops, allowing only a goal to Aho, in a 2-1 win on Nov. 26 in Ottawa.

“It’s not going to happen unless you dig in,” Canes coach Bill Peters said Friday. “You’re not going to score this time of year easy.

“Let’s make sure we’re going to the net hard and scoring on seconds and thirds. I don’t think you beat these kinds of goaltenders too often with the initial shot (but) shots tipped, shots deflected in the high slot area are dangerous.”

The game will be the first for the Canes without defenseman Ron Hainsey, traded Thursday to the Penguins. The defensive pairings will be Slavin-Faulk, Noah Hanifin-Brett Pesce and Klas Dahlbeck-Ryan Murphy -- Peters said Faulk and Dahlbeck likely will absorb many of Hainsey’s penalty-killing minutes.

Teravainen will center Skinner and Stempniak, Rask will center Aho and Lindholm, Staal will be at center with McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe, and Jay McClement will center Nordstrom and Viktor Stalberg.

The Canes (24-24-8) were 12 points out of playoff position with 26 games remaining before Friday’s game and last in the Eastern Conference.

“I believe in our team,” Teravainen said. “We have a lot of games left. We have to find a way to get a few wins and get our confidence back. Anything can happen.”

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