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They Said It: Brind’Amour, Niederreiter, Fast on loss in Buffalo

The Canes came out flat Tuesday, losing their first game to Buffalo since 2016.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes suffered a tough loss in Buffalo Tuesday night, falling to the Sabres 4-2 in a lackluster affair.

It was the Canes’ first loss to the Sabres in over six years, as an early lead and some great play from the Nino Niederreiter-Jordan Staal-Jesper Fast line weren’t enough to get the Hurricanes two points in upstate New York.

Following the loss, head coach Rod Brind’Amour, Niederreiter and Fast spoke with members of the media via Zoom.

Here is what they had to say:

Rod Brind’Amour

On Niederreiter and Fast being visibly upset about the performance during their Zoom: Well, it’s a little late now. It’s pretty obvious, pretty self evident. We played just a terrible second period, and then you leave it up to chance. We played a good third, came out hard and had a great third. But it’s too late when you leave it up to chance. We got what we deserved there.

On the disappointment of this effort: It’s disappointing just in general. I don’t think it has anything to do with anything else. You don’t like to see your team play that way at any time. There was really good stretches in there and did some good things, but there was too much that was not good enough and it cost us.

On getting to play Buffalo again right away: Yeah, that’s nice to get another crack at it. It’s probably less about the opponent and more about us trying to regain that game that we want to play, that 60-minute game. Maybe a little bit, to answer your question.

Nino Niederreiter

On what changed midway through the third that changed things back to Buffalo’s direction: At the end of the day, that game was unacceptable the way we played. The way we came out, especially. We just never really found our game until the last period. At the end of the day, there’s no easy win and no easy team to play against. They play hard. We just took that game for granted and thought it would be an easy game, and that sure wasn’t the case.

On if there was any particular reason they came out slow: No. Obviously we’ve played a lot of games lately, but every team is doing the same thing. We came out flat. We thought it was going to be a fairly easy game because it’s a team which has nothing to lose anymore I guess, and those are the tough games to play. That’s something we’ve got to learn from for this stretch coming up here.

On that kind of being human nature a bit: Yeah, absolutely. But if there’s bad habits creeping in towards the playoffs, that’s tough to regroup afterwards once you’re in. That’s exactly what the problem is right now. We’re facing teams that aren’t really in the hunt anymore, and they play a different type of hockey. For us, we’ve just got to find a way to stick with it.

On getting to face Buffalo again right away: Yeah, absolutely. That was a big learning lesson tonight on the way we should not be playing. I think we have to make it up in the game coming up here.

Jesper Fast

On why things started slow and on what turned back Buffalo’s way later in the third: There’s no excuse. We talked about playing the right way before the game. Like you saw, we didn’t do that at all. As a team, we didn’t play good enough.

On if that’s kind of human nature: Yeah, it is. But as a team I thought we should be better. We know what makes us successful. As you saw today, they were all over us in the first two periods. We didn’t play good at all. The good thing is we play them again on Thursday. A guess we can make it right.

On it being a bad time of year to have bad habits creeping in: Absolutely. We have 12 or 13 more games to go. We’ve got to play our game and make sure we have good habits going into every game and play the right way. It’s not like we can just push a button and be ready to go. Every game you’ve got to be ready and play the right way.