The Carolina Hurricanes battled Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, falling to the Penguins 4-2 in the Canes’ second game in 21 hours.
Carolina, fresh off a home win over Philadelphia Saturday evening, went to Pittsburgh and gave the Penguins a test, ultimately falling despite a good effort. Brett Pesce and Sebastian Aho scored for the Canes in the third period, while another good effort in net from Antti Raanta kept Carolina alive for most of the game.
Following the tough loss, head coach Rod Brind’Amour,
On getting these tighter games later in the season: I don’t really think it’s much different, to be honest with you. Tonight we played a good game. I’m happy with this game, other than the result. We played hard, especially considering the turnaround and three in four nights. We actually got better as the game went on, I thought. You’ve got two good teams, so when you have two good teams it’s going to feel that way. But I don’t know. I don’t really see much difference in this game as opposed to game five.
On if Tristan Jarry was the difference in the game: He played great. He made some big saves for them. He didn’t have a bunch of tough ones, I don’t think, but he certainly was really good when he had to be. Especially early, we had a couple odd-man rushes there right off the bat early and he made a couple saves to keep them in the game and for them not to have to change anything. We gave up a couple, got some weird bounces, and that happens. We had to kind of chase it. I think they just kind of, I don’t want to say sat on the lead, but they didn’t have to do anything because they were ahead. It was a good effort. I’m not disappointed at all with the way we played.
On the team pushing hard on this stretch: It’s been like that all year. It’s been like that for four years. These guys play hard. They don’t ever stop playing hard. That’s what I appreciate the most, really. We’re down in that game, but it’s always about that next shift. These guys just come out and try to play our game. I thought we stuck with it throughout the 60 minutes. It didn’t work out, but it certainly good have.
On guys like Pesce and Jaccob Slavin being willing to get involved offensively: They have to. That’s how we play. They’ve got to be part of it. Nice goal for him. Jaccob, can’t say enough good things about what he means to this group. Those guys logged a lot of minutes, well all year, but especially in this last little stretch. They’re hard minutes. They play hard. They don’t ever take a shift where there’s an easy second of their shift. When you see 22 or 24 minutes, those are hard minutes. That’s what I appreciate most about those guys is how hard they play every shift.
On the team’s performance: It was a good effort. Guys worked hard. That’s our thing. That’s what we build on, guys who are working hard. The effort was there. But obviously we’ve got to be a little bit sharper when we have the scoring chances. It’s all over the ice, getting the pucks out or whatever. Just a little bit sharper in the details. And have that killer instinct when you have the scoring chance. Maybe those were missing, but the effort was there.
On the value of these close games, even if they are losses: Absolutely. The whole season you’re going to learn from every game. There’s a lot of details. It doesn’t matter if it’s 6-on-5 or 5-on-6, you want to scout what they do and at the same time you have to come up with your own plays and feel comfortable with them and trust them. Stuff like that. It definitely helps when you get these experiences in the tight games. Obviously Pittsburgh is a great team, so it definitely helps.
On the challenge of the afternoon back-to-back with daylight savings also playing a factor: No, not at all. It’s fine. No excuses. I don’t mind these back-to-back early games. We get home early. Not tough at all.
On having his career high in shots: Oh, geez. Yeah, I guess. We had a ton of shots on net, I feel like.
On the third-period push: It was just the way the game played out. I thought we played a good game. We didn’t get the bounces. We had plenty of opportunities to win that game. Sometimes it’s just the way it is.
On the value in these close games: I guess. Just to be comfortable in any situation. We’re a very confident team. We’re comfortable playing at any score and at any time of the game. We have the confidence. We believe we’re going to win every night.
On his goal: It all came from [Vincent Trocheck]. That line was just doing a great job of keeping it below their goal line. It kind of squirted out, and I saw a little soft spot there at the top of the circles. Trocheck found me, and I just tried to throw it on net.