The Canes dominated possession and the shots, but Marc-Andre Fleury was fantastic between the pipes for Minnesota as the Wild found a way to win on the road.
Teuvo Teravainen scored the lone goal for the game, after missing some time following a puck to the face, but it was too little, too late in a 3-1 loss.
Following the defeat, Hurricanes’ head coach Rod Brind’Amour, defenseman Ian Cole, Nino Niederreiter and Jordan Staal spoke with the media.
Here is what they had to say:
On Fleury winning the game: That’s pretty fair. He was obviously dialed in tonight. I’m sure they’re pretty excited about why they got him. That’s why. He got them two points, that’s for sure.
On Teravainen’s toughness: He’s sneaky. He doesn’t really want you to think that. He reminds me a little bit of Ray Whitney in the way that they always pretend they’re something else, but deep down he’s a really competitive guy.
On if there’s positives to take away from this game: Totally. We played hard. We did what we wanted to do, we just didn’t execute on the power play there. And even the one we gave up was a shorthanded one, essentially. We had a 3-on-1 at the net and missed the pass, and the guy comes out of the box and they capitalize. It’s tough. Some breaks didn’t go our way tonight, that’s for sure.
On Niederreiter’s overturned goal: Usually they allow it and then overturn it. That’s how it’s been. Once the ref says no goal it’s going to be pretty tough. I think there would be a bigger argument if it was a one-goal game, but I get it.
On Fleury being so hard to score on: He’s still really athletic. I think tonight the thing that probably gets overlooked is that there were three that were probably tipped, and he made the adjustment off the tip. That doesn’t really happen very often with goalies. He was quick enough still to make the adjustment, and that was impressive to see. Unfortunately for us we didn’t get enough by him.
On if there’s any consolation to a loss when it’s just getting beat by a goaltender who is that good: No. There’s no consolation really in the losses, but I liked the way we played. I had no qualms about the way we came out and played tonight. That’s a good team. If we play that hard, but we didn’t give up that much. That’s really a key.
On Fleury: I thought he was a great goalie. There’s a reason why he’s going to be a Hall of Famer. He’s supremely athletic. He makes saves that no, or very few, goalies can make. We saw some of those tonight. He’s so quick going side to side. He’s big, he’s square. It’s tough to beat him. They didn’t have a ton of chances, and they capitalized on their chances. We had more chances and could only capitalize on one. Tip your hat to [Fleury], he did a fantastic job.
On if he can tell when a goalie is going to have a game like that early on: You have to expect that he’s going to be great. He’s that good of a goaltender, and he has been that good of a goaltender for that long. He’s seen just about every shot that a goalie has ever seen. He’s figured out how to play against them. We’ve just got to continue to grind and get chances and capitalize when we do.
On Teravainen’s toughness: That’s the standard that our team plays to. He got his lip cut in half there. So coming back out and scoring was huge there. It gave a little life to us. It gave us a chance to come back. Obviously we couldn’t complete it, but kudos to him for being as tough as he is.
On if defensemen get any guidance from officials on goaltender interference like the one late in the game: They’ll maybe yell over ‘let him out’ or ‘let him go’ or whatever. I tend to go by the mantra of if he’s behind me I’ll back him down, if he’s in front of me I’ll box him out. It’s tough to move guys, especially guys who are heavy like Nino or [Staal] when they get set there. You do your best to try and limit their opportunities and looks there. I guess [Jared Spurgeon] did a good job of keeping him in there and getting the call. We gave ourselves a chance, but that’s the way it is.
On Military Appreciation Night: They’re all important causes. We have a lot of great nights here with this team. We do a really good job of trying to represent multiple communities in our community. Obviously Fort Bragg being right down the road is a very substantial one. As a group of American guys on this team, we wanted to try to do something together to help bring some people in and give them the opportunity to watch a game. Obviously we would have liked a better outcome for them to treat them to a little more fun, but hopefully they had a good time. Just kind of thinking whatever we can do to help people and make their lives a little better. That’s what we’re trying to do.
On Fleury: It’s always tough when you don’t get the reward at the end. I felt that we had a fairly good game, but we didn’t make it hard enough on Fleury. I feel like he saw a lot of pucks. We’ve got to get more in front of the net and get some greasy goals.
On his disallowed goal: In my opinion, it’s always tough to say, but I feel like if that would have been Crosby or McDavid that goal would have counted. It’s pretty simple. You can clearly see that Spurgeon pushed me in, and there’s nothing you can do. I even tried to get out of the way and hit my shin and went in. It’s obviously frustrating, but it’s part of the game.
On if there are positives to take away from that game: We gave them a couple goals that for sure were our own mistakes, but overall I feel like we were the better team. We had more grade-A chances. We had a lot of chances, but obviously Fleury stood on his head.
On Fleury: He’s a good goalie. It hurts me to say it sometimes. But no, he’s a very good goalie obviously. When he’s starting to feel it like he was tonight, he’s pretty tough to beat. We could have done a little better job of getting in his eyes. They did a pretty good job of keeping us out of the front of the net and keeping shots to softer ones from the outside. We couldn’t quite get, especially in the third, some good chances.
On special teams: When we lose that special teams battle it’s pretty obvious. Most games are pretty hard to win when you lose that one. Giving up a power play and obviously out of the box kind of stuff, that was kind of it.
On Minnesota’s effort: They played well. They played smart hockey with the lead. They limited our big chances, really. I thought we still created a fair amount of chaos and tried to get a couple chances. There were opportunities, especially I thought in the second, and that’s when [Fleury] kind of made some really big saves in that period to lock it down. We couldn’t create a ton of grade-As.
On Teravainen’s toughness: I know him, and he’s a gamer. He always has been. We’ve never had an issue with [Teravainen] and what he brings to this team and organization. He’s a special player that we all love, and he’s definitely a big part of this group.