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Recap: Canes open homestand with loss to Stars

The Carolina Hurricanes opened up an eight-game homestand with a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars Saturday night, letting a 2-1 advantage slip away.

Jordan Staal yells after a faceoff with Dallas Stars center Radek Faksa, Saturday, Apr. 3, 2021 in PNC Arena. The Canes lost in regulation, 3-2.
Kaydee Gawlik

The Carolina Hurricanes opened up an eight-game homestand with a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars Saturday night, as Dallas scored in the final minute of the second period and early in the third to come from behind and topple the Canes in PNC Arena.

The Stars opened the scoring in the first thanks to a redirection from Andrew Cogliano, before Jamie Benn and Tanner Kero added the game-tying and game-winning goals, respectively. For the Hurricanes, Dougie Hamilton netted the 100th goal of his NHL career while Haydn Fleury got his first of the season.

It was a physical affair that featured 64 combined hits, with Dallas winning that battle 37-27. In net, Jake Oettinger got the win for the Stars, stopping 41 of 43 shots faced, while Alex Nedeljkovic took the loss after saving 22 of 25 shots.

The Stars opened up the scoring less than four minutes into the game, as a sloppy start for both teams led to a deflection goal for Cogliano immediately off an offensive-zone faceoff win for Dallas.

Mark Pysyk laced a shot towards net after a Blake Comeau win in the faceoff circle, and Cogliano was able to get his stick out to it with Haydn Fleury draped on. Nedeljkovic, positioned to stop the Pysyk wrister, had no chance.

Carolina evened things up at 1-1 thanks to a milestone goal for Hamilton, who used some great patience to beat Oettinger to hit the century mark on his career goal tally. Hamilton received a good pass from Vincent Trocheck, who intercepted a pass in the circle, and used a great hesitation move to score.

Dallas threatened mightily late in the first period, holding the puck in the offensive zone for an incredibly long defensive shift for Jake Bean and Brady Skjei. The Canes survived that outburst and a physical first period as a whole though, with the teams combining for 33 hits in the first 20 minutes. The Canes won that battle 17-16.

The second period started much like the first, with offense hard to come by for most of the frame. Dallas did get the game’s first power play, as Brett Pesce went to the box for tripping, but couldn’t get anything from it.

Fleury made it a 2-1 game with just under seven minutes left in the middle period, firing one from the point that bounced through Oettinger’s legs and into the net. It was Fleury’s first goal, and first point, of the season, with Cedric Paquette offering a good screen in front of net.

The Hurricanes once again didn’t finish the period strong in the second. After an empty power play for Carolina, Andrei Svechnikov took a completely avoidable slashing call with under a minute to play in the middle frame.

Dallas didn’t take long to tie things up before the second intermission, as Benn controlled a rebound off a John Klingberg point shot and backhanded past Nedeljkovic.

The Stars carried that momentum over into the third period, as Dallas grabbed hold of a 3-2 lead just 2:52 into the final 20 minutes. Pysyk made a good play to keep the puck in the offensive zone, and Jason Robertson threaded a perfect backhanded centering pass to Kero, who slotted it past Nedeljkovic.

The Canes had a quite a few good chances in a wide-open third period, including a beautiful individual effort from Martin Necas on a wraparound attempt that was barely snuffed out by Oettinger.

Carolina also probably would have liked to hear a few whistles blown in the final frame, as the Canes didn’t go on a power play despite some seriously iffy moments from the Stars. Much to the chagrin of the Carolina fans in PNC Arena, the whistles stayed quiet.

Carolina pulled Nedeljkovic with about 1:30 to play, but couldn’t find the tying goal. Dallas and Carolina will be back in action at PNC Arena Sunday at 7 p.m.