In the second leg of a back-to-back, the Carolina Hurricanes had a chance to make a big statement on home ice against the red-hot St. Louis Blues.
After a promising opening forty minutes, the fatigue wore in and the desperation wasn't there as the Hurricanes fell to the Blues by a score of 2-1.
From the drop of the puck to the end of the opening period, it was a very typical St. Louis - Carolina game. Both teams played within their systems en route a quiet opening frame with shots square at seven apiece.
Cam Ward made the play of the period, though, as he made a timely save as the Blues came threatening on the 2-on-1.
"No."— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) October 28, 2017
-Cam Ward pic.twitter.com/Wzvrfvf1xP
The second period opened up a little for both teams, and as the game gained more flow, the goals started coming.
An open-ice collision away from the puck between Alex Steen and Teuvo Teravainen resulted in Teravainen landing awkwardly on his shoulder and having to be pulled from the game.
He did not return due to an upper-body injury, the team announced shortly thereafter. It certainly didn't look good for Turbo, but we will learn more about the Fin’s health status over the next few days.
Late in the middle frame, the Hurricanes’ first defensive pairing and fourth forward line were pinned in their own end for what seemed like an eternity, and Dmitrij Jaskin beat an exhausted Brett Pesce to a rebound and snuck the puck past Cam Ward to give the road team the game’s first lead.
It was Jaskin’s first goal of the season, but enough about him.
Justin Williams picked Alex Steen’s pocket at the Carolina blueline and brought the puck up ice as a 2-on-1 chance presented itself with Jeff Skinner.
Williams toe dragged, spun, aND OH MY GOODNESS WHAT?
Wow. I mean, what an incredible individual effort there by Skinner to tie the game at one just over a minute after the Blues had taken the lead. If only Williams wasn’t just a bystander through it all...
In the dying moments of the second period, the Canes started pushing, and they nearly took the lead, but Carter Hutton came up big, especially on Sebastian Aho who failed to score his first goal of the year on a great chance as he flew down the right wing.
Jaccob Slavin also made a marvelous play, defending a 2-on-1 rush to perfection to help preserve a tie game going into the third.
Despite Carolina’s late period charge, St. Louis didn’t back down in the opening minutes of period three. Shortly after Noah Hanifin sent a bullet off of the goal post, the Blues put together a series of scoring chances, but Ward came up big like he had so often in his first home start of the season.
Good news! At the 8:00 mark of the third period, the Hurricanes got a powerpla...NO. Please no, can we decline the penalty? We’ve seen this movie before.
Well, we saw it again. The Canes had an abysmal powerplay, probably their worst of the year which is no small “accomplishment”, and it came back to bite them as it usually does.
With 9:19 to go in the third period, Brayden Schenn scored a rebound goal on a wide-open net after Ward made a series of incredible saves.
The Hurricanes just gave up chance after chance and, once again, an abysmal powerplay halted any momentum that the club had previously had.
From there on, the Canes waved the white flag and they made even the simplest of passes look like rocket science. The second leg of the back-to-back clearly started to take its toll and boo’s rained down from the home crowd as the Hurricanes were outshot 14-7 in the third period.
The Blues closed out the game, defeating a tired and gutted Hurricanes team by a final score of 2-1. With the loss, Carolina fell to 4-4-1 on the year and 1-2-1 on home ice.
Cam Ward stopped 32 of 34 shots in his 2017-18 debut at PNC Arena, and Jeff Skinner netted his sixth goal and eighth point over his last eight games.
The Hurricanes will look to end the month of October on a positive note when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
A win over Anaheim would give Carolina an above NHL .500 record for the month of October.
Rank the Performances
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