The Hurricanes suffered a hard-fought loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night in which they were the better team, but fell 3-1 nonetheless.
Rod Brind’Amour, Brett Pesce and Sebastian Aho spoke to the media after the game. Here’s a full breakdown of what they had to say:
On all the penalties disrupting the flow: It’s hard to keep everybody engaged maybe. But it’s the same for both teams. I’d like to see more flow, obviously, but that’s the way it went.
On the Canes feeling like they deserved better: It’s deflating, no question. We were the better team tonight. I thought it might have been our best game overall against them. There’s a lot of grade-As. We didn’t give up much, hardly. I was really, really happy. That’s hockey, unfortunately. You get some bad bounces, and a couple things don’t go your way. We probably could have had five or six more power plays, to be quite honest with you. It was weird how that worked out. But you’ve got to move on.
On playing Tampa four games in a row: It doesn’t get any easier. Now we’ve got Florida. They’re playing great. So I don’t know. You have to play them at some point. It’s a little easier on the travel when we can stay in one town, play a couple games. It is what it is. It’s unfortunate we didn’t get results. I thought for the most part, four games, it could have went either way in pretty much every game. Obviously there’s areas we need to shore up and get better. The power play would have been nice to click, but we did have a couple good looks and posts, there were some good things on the power play. It just didn’t happen for us tonight.
On the Canes being battle tested: Everybody is. It’s the NHL. I mean, there’s no easy nights. We got a taste of it here this week. That’s a tough week for us. I just think guys are down right now because they played really hard and deserved a better outcome. I asked a lot of them tonight and I thought they rose to the occasion. We had a couple guys that could be better, for sure. But overall, I can’t be unhappy with the way we played tonight.
On the team’s mood following the loss: It was a tough one. I felt like the effort was there all night and we battled hard. Obviously the power play cost us a game. If we score a goal on the power play, then that’s our game.
On if it was difficult to get into a rhythm due to the amount of penalties called: Sometimes it’s tough. It depends on how you play on the power play or penalty kill. It depends on that in my opinion. I think if you play well on them, then it’s pretty much normal, but if you miss on your chances then it’s a little tougher to get to a 5-on-5 game.
On if it was a case of the penalty killers knowing the power play’s tendencies due to the amount of games played in a row: Yeah, but on the flip side we should know their PK and what they do on the kill. It goes both ways. Our penalty kill was good too. It was a good job on that, but our power play needs to be better.
On how difficult it was to play Tampa four-straight times: They’re a great team. There’s a reason why they are defending champions and the games were hard. But that’s how it should be. Tough games with two good teams competing out there. We didn’t get the results we wanted, but I think those four games were good games.
On what to take away from the four-game series: I think the biggest thing is that we have to play a 60-minute game. A team like this, they’re so good. If you kind of take a breath out there for a shift or two, then they’re going to capitalize or at least they’re going to gain momentum. Then it’s kind of hard to get back into the fight. We just need to do a better job of just playing a full 60.