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About Last Night: Timely Saves (or the lack thereof)

The Carolina Hurricanes have now lost three straight games after winning 11 in a row.

Carolina Hurricanes v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Emilee Chinn/NHLI via Getty Images

When you look at the Carolina Hurricanes’ 11-game winning streak, one thing was consistent: goaltending.

Four total shutouts, saves in sequence and just getting the job done.

When you look at this recent three-game losing streak, one thing is consistent: goaltending.

Carolina has now lost back to back games where it generated 67 and 42 shots.

The difference in these games has been the netminders. Because while the opponents have been making stellar saves to keep their teams in the game, the Hurricanes netminders look average at best.

In terms of last night, three goals allowed on 18 shots is just not good enough.

Raanta’s team battled back to not only tie the game, but also to take the lead, and he couldn’t do enough to support them.

Kirill Marchenko, the Blue Jackets’ Russian rookie, absolutely dismantled Raanta, scoring a hat trick as well as a shootout tally and none of this goals where especially impressive, outside of maybe the shootout one.

All three should have been routine saves, but Raanta was just not on his game.

It’s a tough spot to be. Currently, the Canes have three goaltenders who don’t seem like they can be relied upon.

Antti Raanta has been leaky in his last two starts, Pyotr Kochetkov has come down to Earth and Frederik Andersen is still out with an injury. It’s tough sledding for a team that looked to have it figured out not so long ago.

Because the goalies have all shown that they are capable of playing big games, shutting it down and coming out with the win, but the issue is that it isn’t happening now.

As Carolina approaches the halfway point, somebody needs to emerge as the frontrunner to carry the team.

On a different note, welcome to the Carolina Hurricanes, Max Pacioretty. Two goals on the afternoon will do mighty fine in accustoming yourself to your teammates and earning some adoring fans.

Sure they were both deflections off of Blue Jackets players, but you create your own luck and bounces and Pacioretty has been doing just that. Adding not only his natural scoring touch, but also his size to that top line will do good for boosting the Hurricanes’ overall offensive output.

Oh, and Brady Skjei is still a stud.

He’s such a smooth skater for a defenseman of his size and he has seemingly carried his scoring touch over into this year, now with goals in back-to-back games.

So there are a lot of aspects of Carolina’s game to like, but goaltending has started to slip a bit as of late. It’s no a reason to panic, as all goalies go through dry spells, but the Canes need somebody to step up and be that more consistent presence, because the schedule isn’t getting any easier.

Whether it’s Kochetkov or Raanta or even the return of Andersen at some point, somebody just had to take that step and take on the mantle for the team.