The Carolina Hurricanes were less than a minute away from a massive win over the Florida Panthers Wednesday night, but a last-minute equalizer and very quick OT winner gave the Panthers two points in PNC Arena.
The Canes got a first-period goal from Teuvo Teravainen and an early third-period score to grab the lead, but Sam Reinhart tied it up with under a minute and the Panthers net empty before Aaron Ekblad ended things just 16 seconds into overtime.
Following the loss, head coach Rod Brind’Amour and captain Jordan Staal spoke with the media.
Here’s what they had to say:
On the effort: We got what we deserved. They were the better team. We had a good first period. I thought we played really well. The power play was no good. That kind of sucked the life out of us. The penalty kill was good, so that kind of canceled out. The second period because there were so many penalties you really couldn’t assess anything. In the third, we kind of got off it. Credit to them, they put the gas on. Yeah, it’s disappointing. But the better team won tonight, no question.
On the reason for the bad third period: We didn’t get anything going. We’ve got to give them credit. They got down and threw everything at us. We were in a position to win the game, so we weren’t taking chances. They got the break there at the end, but they deserved it.
On the power play struggles and the empty 5-on-3: Yeah, I just talked about that. That’s what I said. That was the trash part of the first period. We’ve got to score there. We had a couple of good looks right away. In the first 20 seconds we had three chances, and then we got cute. That’s what starts to happen. You start to think ‘oh, I’ve got to do something different’ instead of just keep shooting the puck. We looked for something pretty, and it just doesn’t work.
On the Panthers sending a message: They came out and were throwing their body around. I don’t know, message or whatever. I think they played a really good game, and we were not great. That’s really the end of the story.
On a late slash that felt like it would have been called early in the game: It’s a penalty in the first period but it’s not a penalty in the third period. That’s kind of the message.
On if he’s just looking for consistency there: What do you want me to say? Ask the refs how that goes. I don’t know.
On the Canes’ best players not being their best players Wednesday: They could have been better tonight, no question.
On the Staal line playing well against Barkov and the other lines not taking advantage: They were good tonight. That’s a tough matchup. Barkov is one of the best in the world. He got a world-class goal. It was a totally individual effort. The better team won tonight, and we were not the better team. Yeah it’s disappointing because we could have won and were up, but bigger picture that’s not how I’m looking at it.
On the learning experience of this one: You learn from every loss, yeah. Every game you learn, win or lose. Clearly we’ve got to keep playing. You can’t try to hang on. It never works. We don’t play that way. It’s not our style.
On the health coming out of the game: I don’t know. I’ve got to check here. I think so.
On flushing this game: We always move on the next day. Good game, bad game, you move on. It’s always flushed.
On the effort: There was definitely some good. I thought the first period was good. Our kill was good. We didn’t give up a lot on the power play, so that was good. In the third period we were hanging on a little bit, obviously. If we want to win those games, we’ve got to play a little more on our toes and their end. We kind of let them come at us. Obviously the more chances they’re gonna get, they’re good. We’ve got to do a better job of playing with the lead.
On the third period: Yeah, we need to be more aggressive. It’s a good team, obviously. They move the puck well, transition well and make it hard on you to get a forecheck going. There’s obviously a little bit of both. Freddie played great, unbelievable. It’s too bad we couldn’t finish it for him. We’ve got to have a better game against that group if we want to get the two points.
On the atmosphere of the game and chippiness: You could definitely feel it in the atmosphere. It was an exciting game. Two good teams battling it out. The first period was very quick. Those are the games we love to play, and it’s too bad we were on the losing end. We’ll find a way to create a better game next time.