Despite another strong performance on the road, the Carolina Hurricanes dropped their second game in a row Tuesday night in a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The small skid is nothing to be concerned about, as both games were against Stanley Cup contenders. There are, however a few things that need to be cleaned up.
Let’s take a look at some key takeaways from Tuesday’s game.
Special teams sink Canes again
Special teams nearly cost the Canes two points against Minnesota Saturday. They cost the team at least one point in both this game and the loss to the Jets.
The Canes finished 0 for 4 on the power play and 0 for 1 on the penalty kill, with the Lightning’s game-winning goal coming on a third-period power play.
That one hurts. 3-2 Bolts. pic.twitter.com/MKdMcnSnut— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) October 17, 2018
The Canes are now 2 for 25 on the power play and have allowed eight power-play goals on 22 opposing opportunities on the season. That has to change. The Canes are piling up quality chances, but as hard as it is to score 5 on 5, the power play has to get going.
Fortunately, there are pieces in place for both more success on the power play, with puck moving, shooting defensemen and skilled forwards, and on the penalty kill.
The team needs to figure it out soon though, and can’t afford to be losing points on special teams.
Necas scores first NHL goal
The only Canes rookie not to have scored his first NHL goal got on the board Tuesday, as Martin Necas finished off a sweet goal from fellow rookie Warren Foegele.
Martin Necas scores his first NHL goal! Tie game in Tampa Bay! Great feed from Warren Foegele. pic.twitter.com/jV4OvwKLQE— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) October 17, 2018
Necas had gotten off to a bit of a slow start through the first six games, and if he can get it going down the middle, it would be a big boost for the Canes.
Ferland was a good pickup
Micheal Ferland has been a perfect compliment to Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen on the top line, with the size to drive the net and create space for the Finnish duo, and the skill to finish off the plays they make. He demonstrated that with a nice finish on his first-period goal.
Micheal Ferland scores yet again. Great move and a great goal to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead in Tampa Bay. pic.twitter.com/qkvOiGOMI3— Brett Finger (@brett_finger) October 17, 2018
Ferland is now tied for the team lead with four goals, and deserves some credit for Aho’s red-hot start.
Mrazek strong in loss again
Petr Mrazek has really deserved a better fate in each of the last two games. He stopped 24 of 27 shots Tuesday night, several of them of the highlight reel variety. There really was nothing he could have done on any of the Lightning’s goals.
If the Canes can continue to get this kind of play from Mrazek and clean up their special teams play, they should be in good shape going forward.