With an opportunity to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Carolina Hurricanes mailed in a lackluster performance against the Detroit Red Wings, suffering their fifth-straight loss in the process.
Carolina controlled the play from the outset, jumping out to a 9-1 shot advantage and scoring the game’s first goal in the process - or so we thought.
A powerplay goal from Justin Faulk was disallowed after review showed that the Canes’ defenseman kicked the puck in the net after missing the original swipe with his stick.
Moments later, a failed poke check and careless cherry-pick attempt by Jeff Skinner led to a 5-on-4 sequence for the Red Wings. Danny DeKeyser was left all alone and had all day to beat Scott Darling, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
An up and down second period eventually led to another goal, this time from Carolina in the form of a beautiful bar-down snipe from Noah Hanifin jumping up the left wing. His eighth goal of the season and first since December 21 tied the game at one.
After that, it was all Detroit.
64 seconds after Hanifin’s tying goal, Henrik Zetterberg deflected home his 335th career goal. That gave the Wings a 2-1 lead and tied the 37-year-old with Ted Lindsay for fifth on the all-time Red Wings goal-list.
With just under four minutes to go in the middle frame, Hanifin turned the puck over behind his own net, Skinner lost Trevor Daley at the point, and the veteran blueliner scored a 4-on-4 goal to make it a 3-1 hockey game.
The Canes had a promising early push in the third period and drew a couple of penalties in the process. They weren’t able to convert on those opportunities and, in turn, the Wings got a plethora of odd-man chances as a result of poor pinches from Carolina’s d-men.
As time expired, the Hurricanes tried to cut the deficit in half, but it was too little too late after 55 minutes of poor play against a below-average Red Wings team.
It was another disappointing effort from this Canes team that has, yet again, failed to take advantage of an opportunity to keep up with the Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Islanders in the East’s wild-card race.
With Monday’s trade deadline looming, this team has done very little to prove they are a group worth adding to. Another embarrassing effort up and down the lineup should bring a lot of questions to the table. This team could - and probably should - look very different when they take on the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
Rank the Performances
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