The Carolina Hurricanes saw a late 3-2 lead slip away in PNC Arena Friday night, eventually falling to the Capitals in a shootout.
Thanks to two goals from Seth Jarvis, his first multi-goal game, and a tally from Vincent Trocheck, the Canes led the Capitals 3-2 late in the third period. An untimely Trocheck penalty let Alex Ovechkin tie things up though, with Ovechkin also providing the winning strike in the shootout.
Following the loss, head coach Rod Brind’Amour,
On the game: We weren’t very good. We were still in a position to win there at the end, obviously. The goalie played good for us, kept us in the game. We capitalized on a couple of chances that we had. We didn’t really generate anything. The mere fact that we were even in a position to win, we were pretty fortunate.
On matching Washington’s physicality: We’ve said all along that whatever way the game is going we can adapt and play. Tonight we never got our game going at all. From start to finish it just never felt like we were in a groove. Give the other team credit, they got right to their game and stuck with it and we were chasing it even though we were ahead. It kind of felt like last night to me, where our game was on but we just couldn’t find a score. This game felt the other way, and it almost ended up in the same kind of result where we may have snuck one out not being the better team.
On shuffling the lines: I don’t know. We haven’t scored a lot of goals. We’re just looking at different things. It didn’t really work, obviously.
On Jarvis getting a goal: He was one of our better players, for sure. He was noticeable. And not just because he scored, but other things. He was engaged. He had a good game, obviously.
On the rotation: They went down to three lines, so we kind of did the same. They kind of got lost in the shuffle a little bit there at the end. I’ve got to look at it again to really assess everybody.
On Ovechkin: That’s why he’s more than likely going to be the best goal scorer of all time. He’s got a unique gift. Everyone stands in the same spots he stands and shoots pucks, and his go in. He gets them through. The one at the end was through four or five people and into the back of the net. It sucks to be on the other end of it, but he is a special player, for sure.
On the overtime: We were terrible in overtime. Our whole game was not good tonight. We took the penalty and dug in there. Our penalty killers did a good job, even though they gave up one. Our D were pretty solid blocking shots. They were doing what they had to do when you don’t have a game going to find a way to get a chance to win and keep us in there. I think we at least did that.
On Trocheck’s third-period penalty: That wasn’t a good penalty, obviously. It’s a good lesson. You can’t give a good team one extra chance. You just can’t do it.
On holding Ovechkin in check for most of the night but then him providing the game-tying goal: Yeah. It was on the kill. It’s kind of just unfortunate. It came right to him, and he got it through like four guys. That’s why he’s the best goal scorer of all time, right? He doesn’t need much time, and all he needs is one chance. It is what it is.
On the game as a whole: I don’t know. Not our best, to be honest. I felt like we had a lot of turnovers in the neutral zone. They did a good job of wearing us out as D. They kept just kept dumping pucks in and battling. It’s a stress game, and they definitely got the better of it. And obviously we lost the special teams battle. When you’re going against a really good team like that, you need your special teams. Obviously they got the best of us.
On matching Washington’s physicality: Yup. That was definitely a playoff feel kind of game. Brendan Smith was unbelievable tonight. He’s just a hard-nosed hockey player. We fed off that energy, for sure.
On Jarvis’ two goals: Couldn’t be happier for that kid. He does what he’s asked. I’m glad to see him get rewarded, for sure.
On Smith’s physicality just two games back from a head injury: It’s awesome. He’s an unbelievable guy. Unbelievable pickup for us, especially coming down the stretch here. We’re going to need a guy like that, for sure.
On busting out of his scoring slump: Yeah, it felt really good. It’s been a while. It’s probably the longest I’ve gone without a goal in my career. To get that one felt really nice and helped me stop thinking about it a little bit.
On the mindset when the goals aren’t coming: You can kind of go about it two ways. You can be serious and down and really focus on it. I chose to take the kind of light way and joke about it. I try not think too much. Obviously it’s in your head and you want to score, but I try to not let it weigh on me and try to take a positive approach to it. Just shoot pucks on net, and one’s got to go in.
On his overtime penalty: He grabbed my stick, and then I thought I was pushing on his hip and he fell. I didn’t think anything of it, but obviously I was wrong.
On going third in the shootout: You can definitely overthink it. When you watch the two other guys you kind of see what the goalie is going to do. In my eyes, he was playing his hands pretty low. I didn’t get the puck up high enough. But my goal was to get a quick little chip shot over his glove. Obviously that was kind of a poor effort.
On the physicality of the game: I loved it. I love those kind of games where it’s gritty and in your face. I think as a smaller guy it helps me get to my game just getting bumped and hit. It gets you engaged. I thought it was awesome. The atmosphere was great. I just wish we could have come out with two points.
On the key to scoring: It’s a hard league to score in. Goalies are really good. You’ve got to get to the hoop, as they say, and just kind of bang one out.
On if he felt more back into the swing of things in this game: I think so. I think in Toronto it was just getting my timing. I felt a little bit more comfortable tonight. Besides my game, it’s tough. There’s a lot of good teams, and you’ve got to tip your cap to them because I think they played the right way longer than we did.
On the physicality of the game: I like that. It felt similar to a playoff game. It gets you prepared. They’re a good squad over there. I like how they play. Knowing I can step in after a month and compete like that, that’s good for my individual psyche I guess.
On the physicality from the start: You’re feeling each other out, punches for punches. They had a good game plan, and we were trying to figure it out as well. You start testing each other early. Then you kind of get into the flow of the game. That’s where I think you get that feel of the playoff mentality, when both teams are banging and making good plays early.
On if he’s sending a message to the front office with a performance like that that this team doesn’t need more ‘sandpaper’: I hope so. I think I’ve been trying to do that my entire career. I think that is a recipe to win. If you look at the teams who have won in the last couple years, Tampa went out and got more sandpaper. St. Louis had a lot of that. Washington. There’s a recipe for that, and you need to have that grit and grind. That’s the game that I want to bring and try to bring on a daily basis. With that style, you find a way to win. You just do it longer and harder and test the other guys out there to see if they want to match that level. When we play well like that, I think we’re a tough team to beat. I think we came off it a little bit tonight. I think the other two games we lost we played a better game, our game more or less. We just didn’t get the bounces. That’s just hockey. But I think tonight we came off it a little bit.
On Jarvis breaking out of his slump: That kind of happens when you’re a young kid jumping in and playing 82 games. He’s used to 50 at junior, or maybe just over that. I know how it was. You’re adapting to the game. It shows a lot of maturity in the kid to come out and prove himself. I think the sky is the limit for him. I watch him in practice, and he wants to get better. He works hard. That’s the recipe to become an elite player. I’m excited to see his journey, for sure.
On if Ovechkin’s shot is the most lethal: It’s hard not to say he’s not because he’s what, third all time in goals now. So yeah, I’ll say it is the most lethal. But there’s a lot of players. Stamkos is in that same picture. I just saw he has 400 goals in 900 games or something outrageous like that. There’s a lot of players that are really lethal in that same area, but it’s hard not to say that he’s not the best.
On game planning for Ovechkin: We had a little bit of a game plan change in our system just to tweak it a little bit. You have to be aware of him. His goal came off a faceoff where it’s not really a one-timer or his shot. But he finds the back of the net. It’s just what he does. It’s impressive. But I thought we did a good job of trying to hold him from scoring. But he gets that goal and the winner, so.