It was a very disappointing result for the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night in PNC Arena, as the Canes fell to the last-place Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a game where Carolina outshot Ottawa 49-20.
The Senators got a 2-0 lead thanks to Alex Formenton, who scored the opener in the first period and then early in the third period thanks to an incredibly fortunate bounce. The Canes managed to tie things up in the third, as Teuvo Teravainen scored on the power play and Andrei Svechnikov netted the equalizer.
But just 19 seconds after Svechnikov’s goal Ottawa regained the lead, as Josh Norris scored to make it 3-2. Again, the Senators benefited from a rather fortunate bounce off a Canes’ defenseman.
Following the loss, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, goalie Antti Raanta and Svechnikov spoke with members of the media via Zoom.
Here is what they had to say:
On if Ottawa’s third goal was a matter of the Canes just taking a breath: A little bit. Maybe. Still, we made the first save and crammed into the net. It was another one of those crazy kind of bounces. It’s just not going our way on those. The guys played hard. I don’t really have much to say. It’s tough. It’s kind of felt like during this last two-week stretch we’re playing as good of hockey as we can play. Tonight we did everything right, but didn’t get the win.
On if he’s ever seen two goals like that go against a team in the same game: No. That’s what mean. It’s crazy, really, in this game. I don’t really know what to tell you. I can’t say much. There’s certainly nothing negative in this game other than the score, and unfortunately that’s the biggest thing. We did everything we could. We should have gotten a couple in the first. That was a great period, and we’re down one. That’s tough. The power play was great tonight. We were on them for the last couple games, and those guys responded. We only got the one, but I liked everything we were doing. We were in the zone the whole time. We were running around. Lots of scoring chances. The penalty kill was good. In all these losses, someone just said it as I was walking in here, their goalie has been the first star of the game. We’ve got to make it a little harder on him, but I don’t know much more we can do.
On bridging the gap between focusing on the process versus the results and finishing: There’s nothing you can do about the finishing. Practice shooting more? That’s not gonna do anything. You’ve got to get those opportunities. If we’re losing these games and getting 20 shots and six scoring chances, I’m like ‘ok, wait. We’ve got a big issue.’ That’s not what’s happening. We’re getting lots of opportunities. We’re getting lots of scoring chances. You can’t change that. There’s just no way around it. Are the guys feeling it? Yup. They’re upset that they’re not scoring, and that we’re not getting the results. It’s a double whammy right now. I know this because we’ve done it. Everybody’s done it. There’s nothing you can change. We’re not going to come up today and there’s something we can do different to get those results. That’s not going to happen. You have to do it right. And I think this team has been doing it right, especially these last 10, 12 days. It’ll work out. We’ll start scorning a lot more if we keep that process going, like you were saying.
On the potential of the group when things do start breaking their way: Yeah, I agree with what you’re saying. We’re getting tested here, for sure, on a lot of fronts. But we’ve been responding. We’re down two on a crazy bounce, and we get a couple. Then it’s right away. It’s a tough time right now, just mentally because nothing is going our way. Let’s just be frank, nothing is going our way. Now, no one is going to feel sorry for you, and we’re not asking for that. The key is just that you’ve got to stay positive here. There’s no point in feeling sorry for yourself. Keep working. To me, if you keep working, things are going to work out. If we get that kind of effort, we’re going to win a lot of games.
On if that was the message to the team: Yeah. It’s kind of a similar message. I’m proud of the group in that game, if I’m being honest. I’m just disappointed for them. I know how they feel. That’s a tough way to lose, when you score two on your own goal essentially. You throw everything at the net. You’re doing what your coach is asking and what the team is asking of you to play the game. It’s a tough loss. But we’re going to wake up tomorrow, and we’ll get at it again.
On guys gripping the stick too hard and if they can change things up schematically: No. You’re not going to shoot less. You’re not going to not shoot the puck. That goes to the confidence of players. When you’re not scoring, those are the comments that you’re going to make. That’s a personal thing. We’ll have a little chat here and there. There’s other areas that you can be good at, just because you’re not scoring. And I thought we did good at that tonight. That’s eliminating as many scoring chances as you can. If we keep them from getting chances and we get enough chances, that’s generally how you win hockey games.
On Svechnikov taking a step forward as a leader and on the status of Jordan Martinook: I thought Svech was good. It’s hard to say anybody wasn’t tonight. Martinook, yeah, I didn’t see what happened. He’s got some sort of problem in his ankle area. I’m not sure where that’s going to go.
On the toughness of the loss with two own-goals: I think when your team is playing the way they did, it’s a tough one. We want to give them a chance to get the first one and it’s tough. We try to focus on the first shot, and then the rebound takes a couple of bad bounces. On the last one, Cole was trying to come back and help me and it hits his skate and goes in. It’s just an unfortunate… bad luck. It’s tough for Cole because he was trying to do his best and help the goalie and then that kind of bounce goes in. It’s tough. A tough way to lose when you dominate the game and end up losing 3-2. It’s tough.
On the overturned, then re-allowed goal: Well the referee told me straight away that our guy was the fault there. That our guy pushed him in. So then I was kind of surprised that they disallowed it. It was kind of 50/50. I don’t know if that was the reason why their guy fell down but it is what it is. I think it kind of sums up the whole game. Nothing really went our way. Obviously we played well enough to win this hockey game, but Forsberg was good at the other end. You try to match that and when you give up three goals on 30 shots, you can’t be too satisfied. It doesn’t matter what kind of goals they were, you can’t be too satisfied about your game.
On how the team will get through this stretch: I think it’s just coming in tomorrow being ready to work again. We do all the right things, it’s just the last couple of inches aren’t there. Where we can maybe get the bounces. Roddy said after the second period that if we keep playing like this, we will get the goals. We got two quick ones. It’s there, it’s just that everybody has to understand that it’s not we’ve been playing bad, bad hockey. I think we’re doing the right things and it’s just the small, little details when we’re getting the scoring chances. Maybe when we get the rebounds, elevating the puck a little more or something like that. I think there was a couple of times where we had almost a wide-open net and the other team’s goalie had made an unreal save. I think tomorrow, we’ll come back and have a good practice and just keep our mind open. We can’t start hanging our heads and being super sad. The games are there and we’ve been doing the right thing, we just aren’t getting the right bounces right now. Just keep working hard and the results will come.
On how disappointing it was to see Ottawa come right back and grab the lead: Obviously when we scored the second one, it was kind of a relief that came down. But then they score right away, the third one. We’re in the same situation, ‘we’ve got to score one more here.’ We had many chances, but we couldn’t score them. It’s tough.
On what they can do to start finishing the chances: Well, probably just score them. That’s the easy one. I feel like we don’t have to do anything. We all know that we’re one of the best teams in the league. We all know what to do here. Like you said, we doubled the shots against those guys. It’s just not coming for us. But at the beginning of the year we won so many games, and it was coming everything for us. It’s going to come. We’ve just got to wait, wait, wait and do the same thing. We played great tonight.
On keeping a positive attitude and willing each other through this spell: We just talk with the boys. The last game our power play wasn’t great, and we just came together with the boys to talk about it. I thought our power play created so many chances today, but we just didn’t finish them. Turbo scored one, but we could have gotten four goals. It’s just talk with the boys and listen to the coaches and calm down a little bit. We all know that we’re one of the best teams in the league.