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Recap: First-Period Trouble Sends Canes to 5th Straight Loss

A last-second goal before the first intermission proved a bad omen for Carolina.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

As the red and blue parties duked it out on election night in America, the Redvolution was soundly defeated by the Blues on Tuesday as the Hurricanes fell, 4-1, in St. Louis.

The loss marked the fifth straight defeat for Carolina as the team dropped to 6-7-2 on the season.

The one thing the Hurricanes couldn’t do against the Blues, based on recent results: get into an early hole. But that’s exactly what they did, falling into a 3-1 hole in the first period.

The first goal came near the eight-minute mark after Jaccob Slavin was able to weave his way out of trouble behind the net to move the puck up-ice. Micheal Ferland received the pass short of the blue line, but a defensive pinch caused a pass back toward the net which was intercepted and fed to Ryan O’Reilly for his fifth goal of the year.

A couple minutes later, after Andrei Svechnikov shot one off the right post on a breakaway, the Blues started a rush of their own, and a defensive mistake in transition led to a 2-on-1 chance that Robby Fabbri converted for a 2-0 lead.

However, the Hurricanes were handed a late-period power play thanks to an interference call on Joel Edmundson, and with it, Slavin netted the first power-play goal for the Canes since Oct. 30. As it appeared Carolina would go another man-up advantage without a goal, Slavin wristed a line-drive, seeing-eye shot past Chad Johnson with Justin Williams blocking vision in front for a goal with just 26 seconds left before intermission.

As soon as the hope came, though, so did the despair. Nine seconds later, Nicolas Roy was called for a slash as he attempted to break up a quick scoring chance, and with five seconds left before the break, a wide-open O’Reilly took a pass from close range and fired it past Curis McElhinney for a 3-1 lead.

The second period came and went without score, but there were chances for the Canes, even given a couple of sloppy power plays. However, the best chance of the period -- like the one before -- was a last-minute shot by Vince Dunn from the low slot that McElhinney sqaured up and saved.

The Hurricanes had a chance to get within one thanks to a mid-period power play in the third, but once again, the chances were slim and the advantage went quietly. Down to their final metaphorical strikes, Carolina pulled McElhinney with under 3:30 to play, and seconds later, O’Reilly recorded his first career hat trick.

Once again, the Canes handedly outshot their opponent, 39-20, but came up on the short end by a wide margin. Sebastian Aho nearly came up with a pair momentum-shifting goals, but both rang off the crossbar, delaying the start of a new point streak.

The Hurricanes enter the final game of their four-game road trip, in Chicago, with a 0-2-1 record in the white jerseys this time around.