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Notes and Quotes: Postgame reaction from the Hurricanes’ 4-1 loss to the Devils

Bill Peters, Eddie Lack, Jordan Staal and Lee Stempniak met the media after the Canes fell to 1-2 on home ice Sunday.

Jamie Kellner

From the Coach

I don’t mind the fact that we gave up minimal shots in the second. You’re doing something right if you’re giving up two shots. It would have been nice to have more quality chances on the power play. We had three in the period that we needed something on.

“We need to get on the board earlier in the game. We need a little more momentum. It comes down to execution, confidence, all five guys doing their part on the power play. If you start getting frustrated and taking the easy route, it’s not [easy].

You have to be in the paint. Nesty’s at the net. If you want to score and you’re not scoring, that’s the place you’ve got to get to. It should get better every time he takes the ice. We need that line to go out and dominate shifts and tilt the rink a little bit. They did that for us on a consistent basis last year, and they need to get back to that identity.

In the Room

Lee Stempniak:

Their goalie played well. He made some nice saves. The power play is the difference for us. If we get a goal or two on the power play, it’s a totally different game.

It seems like we aren’t getting it in as cleanly [on the power play] as we did earlier in the year. When you struggle with entries, that’s hard, and it eliminates a lot of time when they ice it back. We need to clean up our entries and keep pucks alive, and just shoot the puck more. The best power plays have guys who shoot the puck a lot and get second and third chances.

For us, [Tuesday] is a huge bounce back game. We’ll make some adjustments and be ready for Tuesday.

Jordan Staal:

[On the slow start] I’m not sure what it might have been. I thought we didn’t create a lot of chances, but we did a few good things. The bad things cost us for sure.

There were a few plays, especially for myself, that I wanted back. I think everyone may have just been a step behind. It made it difficult for us to create more and play the way we want to play.

The Devils defend well. They don’t give up much, they don’t take chances, so they wait for the right opportunities. Tonight they scored a couple quick ones, and it’s not easy in this league to come back.

Eddie Lack:

I felt good. I felt like I had been practicing well. Games and practices aren’t the same thing, but I felt like I started the first period good. I felt like the first goal in this game was going to be huge and it turned out to be.

Sometimes I feel like we’re starting really good, sometimes I feel like we aren’t really there. We just need to keep working and playing our game.

Game Notes

  • The assist on Andrej Nestrasil’s goal was the first of the season for Jordan Staal, who had three goals but no helpers before tonight’s game. Tonight was Staal’s 700th career game, a night after Stempniak played in his 800th.
  • The other assist, Noah Hanifin’s seventh, broke a three-way tie with Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask to give Hanifin the outright team lead in assists.
  • The Canes have now gone 0-for-12 on the power play since Bryan Bickell’s marker against the Rangers in the home opener. They are in a 1-for-16 skid since the final game of their season-opening road trip against the Red Wings on October 25.
  • Andy Greene’s empty-net goal was his first since January 19, which also went into an empty cage. The last goal he scored against a live goaltender came in a shootout loss to the Bruins on December 20, 2015.
  • Peters did not have an update on the condition of Justin Faulk at the end of the game, and offered no guess on whether he would play on Tuesday night when the Canes visit the Devils in a return engagement.