The loss snapped a six-game point streak for the Canes, as Carolina just couldn’t ever really get enough going to top a great effort in Minnesota’s net from veteran Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped 37 of 38 shots faced in the impressive win.
Teuvo Teravainen scored the lone tally for the Hurricanes in the third period to cut a 3-0 deficit to 3-1, but it was too little, too late as the Wild stayed hot and picked up a big road win over Frederik Andersen, who made just 16 saves, and the Canes.
Mats Zuccarello, Dmitry Kulikov and Kirill Kaprizov scored the three goals against Andersen in the game, with Minnesota scoring one in each period.
The Hurricanes didn’t necessarily play bad, outshooting the Wild 38-19 while out-chancing Minnesota 30-20. The Canes had a 12-7 edge in high-danger chances while posting a 63.06 CF%, but they didn’t quite have that finishing touch against a vintage performance from Fleury.
The Wild took a 1-0 lead on the power play, as Max Domi went to the box for hooking and Zuccarello rifled a shot through traffic and past Andersen.
Minnesota then made it 2-0 in the second period immediately following a Hurricanes’ power play, as the Wild found Kulikov coming out of the box to beat Andersen and double the lead.
As for the Canes in the first two periods, the results weren’t quite there but the process wasn’t terrible, something that was a theme in the month of March. The Canes were outshooting the Wild 28-15 after 40 minutes, but some inability to finish mixed with some brilliance from Fleury in net kept the home team off the scoresheet.
The Canes also went 0 for 2 on the power play in the first two periods, and neither man advantage was particularly great. The second was better but the result was the same, and it proved costly with the Canes completely misplaying Kulikov’s exit from the box.
Minnesota made it 3-0 in the third on a somewhat broken play. Kaprizov tried to drop a pass off to Zuccarello between the legs behind the net, and while the pass didn’t really work, the puck still eventually found its way back to Kaprizov as Brady Skjei couldn’t intervene. Kaprizov rifled one in from a tight angle to extend the Wild lead.
The Hurricanes pulled one back later in the third, as Teravainen, who had missed about a period with a bloodied lip, camped in front of the crease and put one in. Sebastian Aho made a great feed from the boards to Teravainen in the middle, as the Finnish connection ended Fleury’s shutout bid.
Carolina pulled Andersen with over 3:30 to play in the game, and it looked the Hurricanes had gotten another one back with 37.2 seconds left. Goaltender interference was called, though, as the score stayed at 3-1.
The Canes will get back to it Tuesday night in Buffalo.