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About Last Night: Canes outbattled by Red Wings

The Carolina Hurricanes earned a point but fell in a shootout to Detroit Saturday night at home.

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes fell to the Detroit Red Wings in PNC Arena Saturday night, falling 5-4 in the seventh round of the shootout.

The Canes held a 1-0 and 3-2 lead in the game, but they couldn’t put the pesky Red Wings away as Detroit took two points from the first of a two-game set between the teams in Raleigh.

Here are some takeaways from the Saturday loss:

Fortunate to get one

All things considered, the Canes were pretty fortunate to get even a point in the standings from Saturday’s meeting with the Red Wings.

Carolina just wasn’t quite good enough, as Detroit grinded and took advantage of some sloppy Canes play and some fortuitous bounces to grab a 4-3 lead in the third period. Still, a beautiful snipe from Sebastian Aho helped Carolina salvage a point in a game where everything clearly wasn’t clicking.

Still, the Hurricanes would have really loved to get two points against a Detroit team that has caused Carolina some issues this year. The NHL-leading Hurricanes, playing the Central Division bottom-feeding Red Wings, weren’t satisfied with salvaging a point.

“Not really,” said Martin Necas. “We always want two points. It’s better to have one than zero, but we just have to be better. It wasn’t our best game. There wasn’t really momentum. We still got it to 4-4, but we’ve got to make a difference in OT and if not in OT then in the shootout. It didn’t happen. We just got to focus on the next one.”

Dougie Hamilton was much more blunt.

“No, I think it’s better to get two,” Hamilton said.

The hot stay hot

The Hurricanes got their scoring contributions from some of the familiar faces Saturday night, as Aho’s tally was his team-leading 17th goal of the season. Along with that, Jordan Stall tallied his 13th, Martin Necas scored his 11th and Hamilton scored his third goal in five games.

Necas opened the scoring with a fantastic little snipe, skating himself into open space after a good pass from Vincent Trocheck.

After Carolina went down 2-1, Staal skated into the zone, and wrapped a nifty wrister past Thomas Greiss. The goal, which came in Staal’s 999th career game, was a familiar looking move, one Canes’ fans have been watching a Staal put in the net for quite some time.

The Canes took a 3-2 lead thanks to Hamilton, who made a smart pinch on the puck, skating it and slotted a shot home for an unassisted goal.

With Aho’s late game-tying goal rounding out the scoring, Carolina saw some of its hottest players stay hot even in a tough loss.

Struggling with the Red Wings

No matter how good or bad an NHL team is, there always seem to be certain matchups over the course of a season that go a little different than one would expect on paper.

The Canes-Red Wings series this season has been a little like that. While Carolina technically leads 3-2-1 to 3-3-0, the Canes have been on the losing end of three of Detroit’s 14 wins on the season as a whole.

On paper, the Canes are just a much, much better team, but Detroit has played really tight games against Carolina all season, including Saturday night in PNC where the Red Wings played a game they fully deserved to win.

“They work hard,” said Rod Brind’Amour. “They make you earn everything. That’s about it. I don’t know if it’s any particular thing they’re doing. They worked hard tonight. They got their bounces from working hard. That’s really what happened; some weird goals, beating us to the net and fighting in front of the net. They earned their two points tonight.”

Nobody would argue that Carolina is the better team than Detroit, but so far this year the Red Wings have competed really hard with the Hurricanes.