The Carolina Hurricanes pretty much got the games they wanted from their youngsters but still came up short in a 4-3 loss to the division rival Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night in front of 18,282 at the PNC.
Emergency callup, Ryan Murphy played almost 24 minutes in his NHL debut and played very well according to his coach. Jiri Tlusty netted two goals and Jordan Staal knocked one in himself, but the Jets got the puck past Cam Ward four times and held on for the win.
The visitors wasted no time as Blake Wheeler beat Ward less than two minutes into the game on a shot from just beyond the slot that might have been tipped. But Tlusty would score his first of the game with 1:21 left in the period to tie things up.
Alexander Semin hit him with a beautiful, no-look behind the back pass to set him up perfectly. To see the replay, check this link.
Semin also created the play as he stole the puck from behind the net and got it to Eric Staal, who passed it right back to the Russian.
After a scoreless second period, the goals would come in bunches in the third.
First, Evander Kane would beat Ward short side 2:10 into the period to give the Jets a 2-1 lead, but Jordan Staal answered just 1:27 later as he shoved in a rebound past Ondrej Pavelec.
At 14:03 into the period, Andrew Ladd scored when Ward had trouble controlling the puck in front of the net. The goal was unassisted on the scoresheet.
Jiri Tlusty then stole the puck 47 seconds later, cruised in alone, and beat Pavelec with a sweet move to once again tie things up.
The crowd had little time to celebrate though as just 16 seconds later, Wheeler would score again to put a dagger into the home team's hopes.
Jordan Staal was called for hooking with 58 seconds left and Eric Staal was given a 10 minute misconduct after that.
The Hurricanes only allowed 23 shots on goal and were happy for the most part with the work of their patchwork defense. They generated 30 shots on goal and coach Muller was also happy with that aspect of the game. But there was no arguing that they need a better performance in goal if they plan to stay on top in the Southeast.
When asked which goalie he would start next game, Muller said that he would decide later. The coach took over 15 minutes to come out for his post game press conference, which is very unusual. He said the team played well enough to win, but came up short.
Things don't get any easier for Carolina as next up is Tampa Bay, on Saturday night.
- Jiri Tlusty and Tim Wallace each had a team high four shots on goal.
- Justin Faulk led all skaters with 29:01 of ice time.
- The Canes won 62% of the game's faceoffs. (J Staal 67%, E Staal 65%, Riley Nash 50%, Jussi Jokinen 80%)
- Faulk also had a team high six blocked shots.
- Wallace had a team best five hits.