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About Last Night: Canes fall 2-1 to Flyers in first home loss of the season

The Canes played two really good periods and one pretty ugly one Friday night, falling to the Flyers 2-1 thanks to a letdown final frame.

Philadelphia Flyers v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes did all they could in the first 40 minutes, but a lackluster third period allowed the Philadelphia Flyers to return home with the win.

This was just Carolina’s second loss of the season, so what was different? The Canes have outscored their opponents 14-3 in the third period of their previous 11 games. Friday night, they were outscored 2-0.

Let’s take a look at what went well and what didn’t go so well:

Andersen again

Are you getting tired of hearing how phenomenal Frederik Andersen was after almost every game? Well, it’s happening again. Andersen was the primary reason the Canes were still in the game during that disappointing third period.

He ended the game saving 26 of 28 shots with a .929 SV%. There were times towards the end of the game where even the announcers were shocked by the saves Andersen was able to make. It’s a miracle the Flyers only scored two in the third period, as the Canes were outplayed in pretty much every other facet of the game.

Andersen has made 11 out of 12 starts this season, so with his high usage, it’s extremely impressive what he’s been able to do. It’s unclear whether we’ll see him on the ice tonight against St. Louis, but if it’s not him, it could be Alex Lyon, who has played just 22 career NHL games. Antti Raanta is also nearing a return from injury, those his availability for Saturday isn’t known.

Hey batter batter

With just 8:46 left in the second period, the first goal of the night was scored by Steven Lorentz. He showed off his hand-eye coordination by batting in a shot baseball-style past Carter Hart.

“I just kind of took a swing at it, and fortunately it went off my shaft and went in,” Lorentz said.

He made it 1-0 Carolina, giving the Canes their only lead and their only goal of the night, and he did it with just 11:20 of ice time all game.

“I’ve always been a bit of a late bloomer,” Lorentz said. “It’s taken me a little bit longer to develop, so I’m really starting to get comfortable going to the blue paint and those dirty areas and getting confidence.”

Call it back

Rookie Seth Jarvis looked to have scored a phenomenal goal just 45 seconds after Lorentz knocked one in, but unfortunately, it was ruled just about an inch offside.

Regardless, Jarvis has been a bright spot on this team since his debut. Although he didn’t score, Brind’Amour’s confidence in him is clearly exemplified by the decision to play him on the top line last night with Andrei Svechnikov and Sebastian Aho.

“He was really good, I thought,” Brind’Amour said. “Again, he’s played pretty well every game.”

He’s a creative, hardworking player, who is getting rewarded for his play on the ice.

Everything but net

There were plenty of times where I caught myself sighing, because the Canes came this close to scoring and extending their lead. But that darned puck just didn’t want to go in.

I’m just kidding. Clearly Flyers netminder Carter Hart had a phenomenal game, saving 39 of 40 shots, but the Canes usually don’t have too much trouble on the offensive side of the ice.

“Their goalie did play well,” Lorentz said. “He had a great game, but as a Carolina Hurricane, we hold ourselves to a higher standard than what we showed in the third period there. We played a great 40 minutes of hockey, but it doesn’t take 40 minutes to win in this league. It takes a full 60.”

Carolina’s power plays were superb, with nine shots on goal in their five times with the man-advantage. Their penalty kills were even better, constantly clearing the puck, and even amassing three shorthanded shots during five spurts on the kill. Captain Jordan Staal had two close shorthanded chances, about five seconds apart.

“It was one of those nights where nothing was working for us, as far as getting rewarded for what was going on,” Brind’Amour said.

And a quick aside about the penalties; I know it still seems like a high amount of penalties to take, but there were definitely a few controversial calls by the refs last night, to say the least.

I was very impressed by the Canes special teams. They did everything but score.

Shots, shots, shots

The shots on goal really do tell the story of this game. In the first period, the Canes had 13 and the Flyers had just six. The second period was similar, with 15 shots for the Canes and seven for Philly.

The third illustrates the play we saw on the ice, with 15 shots for the Flyers and 12 for Carolina.

“It was kind of two different games,” Brind’Amour said. “It was probably two of our best periods we’ve played all year, as far as the game and doing what we want to do. We just didn’t get enough out of the periods.”

Unfortunately, one goal was not enough to win, especially when your defense drops towards the end of the game.

“In the third period, they just kind of beat us at our own game,” Lorentz said.

What’s next?

The Carolina Hurricanes (10-2-0) get back on the ice for a back-to-back on Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues (8-2-2).

The big question is who will be in net for Carolina? It’s unclear right now, but if Alex Lyon makes his Hurricanes debut, this could surely be an interesting game.

Let’s see what happens.