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About Last Night: Canes fail to hold back Capitals surge

The Carolina Hurricanes fell to the Washington Capitals 4-3 in a shootout Friday night at PNC Arena.

Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t hang on against the Washington Capitals as they blew a late lead and fell in the shootout, 4-3, Friday night at PNC Arena.

It was a physical affair that had a playoff edge to it and it’s a shame that these types of games get decided by a shootout. A longer 3-on-3 overtime period will probably never happen, but being that it’s one of the most exciting changes the NHL made to its rule set – a rarity – a longer overtime should be a featured staple of the regular season.

Alas, there are probably plenty of logistic concerns such as player fatigue levels or schedule tightness, but we can still dream a little.

But back to the game last night, the Canes were not the dominant team that they usually are in terms of possession and shots as the Capitals took it to Carolina.

The Hurricanes capitalized on the limited chances they were getting, a huge turnaround from the last couple of games, but it wasn’t enough to withstand Washington’s assault.

Let’s take a look closer at some of the bigger story lines from last night’s game.

Line Blender

Coming into the game against Washington, it was clear that the team was looking to try something a bit different.

Two, brand new line combinations for the top-six with Vincent Trocheck centering the top line with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen and Jesperi Kotkaniemi centering Andrei Svechnikov and Martin Necas.

You have to give credit to head coach Rod Brind’Amour for at least trying something different, but the results just were not there.

“We haven’t scored a lot of goals,” Brind’Amour said on the reasoning behind the new lines. “We were just looking at different things. It didn’t really work, obviously.”

It might have to be a case of sticking with what you know and hoping guys start breaking through because the talent is there and we’ve seen them be successful, it just isn’t clicking currently.

However, more line jumbling may be in the future as the length of Jordan Martinook’s injury status is still up in the air and Nino Niederreiter may potentially be missing a couple of games.

Seth Jarvis Revival?

In his first game back from a lower-body injury, Jarvis lit the lamp twice and saw a significant time bump and a promotion to the second line.

The Canes’ rookie reached the 10-goal mark and has 22 points in 47 career games. Most rookies hit a bit of a wall at some point in their first year so maybe the 20-year old is starting to come around again.

It’s funny that his drought was ended with same line that he got his first goal with playing with both Derek Stepan and Steven Lorentz.

“It felt really good,” Jarvis said on scoring. “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.”

With Martin Necas still slumping — he was back to being unnoticeable after playing such a strong game in Toronto — a spot in the top-six is open for anyone to grab it and maybe Jarvis can start heating back up.

Power(less) Play

The Canes had two opportunities on the man-advantage and both times they came up empty. The power play has been really sucking the life out of Carolina as of late with its stagnant play and disappointing results.

When Teuvo Teravainen came back from injury, he juiced the power play back up for a while, but now it’s back to struggling. Everyone is struggling to score in Carolina right now and that’s not a recipe for success.

Help could be on the horizon though as Tony DeAngelo is on the cusp of returning and the Hurricanes desperately need him.

They will be going nowhere in the postseason if they can’t get the power play going.

Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.