A slow start doomed the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday as they fell hard to the Dallas Stars by a final score of 5-2.
It didn’t take long for the Stars to grab hold of this one. A bad pinch from Jaccob Slavin at the offensive blue line led to a two-on-one opportunity for Esa Lindell, who looked off Antoine Rousell and beat Cam Ward short-side just 51 seconds into the opening frame.
Just under five minutes later, former Hurricane Patrick Eaves netted his first of two goals on the afternoon. Eaves went hard to the front of the net and tipped in a loose puck to make it 2-0.
22 seconds later, the Stars scored what would end up being their game-winning goal. Curtis McKenzie tried passing the puck on a two-on-one rush, and it deflected off of Matt Tennyson and through the five-hole of Cam Ward.
A rough start for Carolina in the first period gave way to some more balanced hockey in the second frame, and Sebastian Aho got the Hurricanes on the board.s
Aho’s slammed one home from the slot off a feed from Elias Lindholm to make it a 3-1 game. Aho now has five goals over his last five games.
The good times wouldn’t last long for Carolina, though. At 17:09 of the second period, Eaves scored again. It was his 21st of the year, a career high for the 2003 first-round draft pick.
An early third-period powerplay was a success for the Hurricanes as Justin Faulk roofed a loose puck past Lehtonen, who thought he had it trapped in his arm. That powerplay unit continues to be dangerous for the Hurricanes.
Five minutes later, the Stars got the dagger. Adam Cracknell scored a fluky goal that fluttered up and off the back of Ward to make it a 5-2 hockey game.
Things got a little chippy down the stretch. Sebastian Aho drove to the front of the net and got leveled in the crease by 6-foot-7 defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, and Jordan Staal hesitantly dropped the gloves. On top of the five-minutes, Staal got an additional two for cross-checking Oleksiak.
The final horn sounded and the Hurricanes lost their second consecutive games after starting the post-All-Star Game portion of their schedule with a three-game win streak. They are now six points out of a playoff spot.
Carolina will get the next five days off per the new CBA. Their bye week comes to an end on Friday when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at the PNC Arena.
Rank the Performances
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.