The Carolina Hurricanes got blanked by Spencer Knight and the Florida Panthers Wednesday night in Sunrise, as Florida won 3-0 in a game where the Canes just couldn’t find a way to beat the young netminder.
Carolina didn’t play near well enough in front of a stellar Antti Raanta, as the Canes dropped their second straight game to move to 8-4-1 on the season.
Some takeaways from the loss in Florida:
Slow start sets the tone
The Canes started out the game pretty poorly, as Florida controlled things early and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to a tally from Nick Cousins.
As a whole, the start wasn’t what the Hurricanes needed on the road against a tough Florida team. The Panthers won the first-period Corsi battle 23-19, outshot the Canes 12-11 and did an overall great job of maintaining time in the offensive zone and keeping Carolina on its heels for most of the opening 20 minutes.
Things settled down a little bit for the Canes before they burst open in the third period, but the start to the game really set the tone in a negative way for a Canes team looking to bounce back from a lost and open up a back-to-back with a win over Florida.
It wasn’t meant to be, though.
A waste of a Raanta gem
The best player on the ice for the Canes Wednesday night was, undoubtedly, playing between the pipes, as Antti Raanta put together a gem of a performance that Carolina couldn’t take advantage of.
Raanta made 33 saves on 35 shots faced, often making some high-effort saves to keep Carolina afloat in the game. He turned away six of seven high-danger shots faced, allowed just one rebound attempt against all night.
Simply put, Raanta was fantastic. But the Canes in front of him were not. Carolina got bailed out by Raanta a few times, and the Canes rewarded their netminder by getting nothing on the board on the other end of the ice.
- The Canes weren’t on their best, but Knight was also fantastic. Sometimes you’ve got to simply tip your cap.
- Jack Drury had a strong game, one which garnered some praise from Rod Brind’Amour after the contest. He played just over nine minutes, had two individual scoring chances for and one high-danger chance for. He played a good game for Carolina.
- Additionally on Drury, the Canes’ fourth line put up strong advanced numbers. The trio of Drury, Derek Stepan and Stefan Noesen had a 92.86 CF%, the best of any of the five line combos that played more than five minutes.