When you gift a team a couple of goals, usually your chances of coming out ahead aren’t too great. Add in it being a Bruce Cassidy coached team, and your chances basically drop down to 0%.
“I didn’t love our second period,” said captain Jordan Staal. “I thought we were a little too flat. In the third we obviously took over, but when you’re down two in this league, it’s never easy, especially against one of the top teams in the league.”
The Hurricanes were behind from the jump after Frederik Andersen was beaten cleanly through the five-hole by Jonathan Marchessault and then a misplay by Brent Burns in the second period saw the deficit double.
“I thought we had a really good first period actually with our chances,” said Rod Brind’Amour. “We didn’t bury them though and they did and that kind of got us behind the eight-ball. Second period we weren’t very good, but we didn’t give up much. Just one bad bounce over our stick and they get a breakaway and now we’re down two. We had a good third, we pushed, just couldn’t get one behind him.”
It was a vintage effort in net by veteran goaltender Jonathan Quick, who’s now won all three of his starts with Vegas since coming over at the trade deadline, posting a 0.939 save percentage over those games.
“He’s been a champ his whole career,” Brind’Amour said on Vegas’ netminder. “I know his numbers aren’t great this year, but he’s got that in him. You know that. Unfortunately, it came out against us. That’s what it was.”
Quick stopped all 33 shots he faced from the Hurricanes, saving 2.96 goals above expected, according to MoneyPuck.com, and his ability to hold onto pucks really slowed down Carolina’s chaos in front strategy.
“He was pretty solid,” Staal said of Quick. “Some of those point shots... he was eating a lot of them. He played well, but we definitely needed a better second and a couple of bounces.”
In his first game in a Hurricanes sweater, Jesse Puljujarvi played 12:47 and had some solid shifts on the fourth line.
“It was really fun to play the first game [with Carolina] tonight,” Puljujarvi said. “It certainly wasn’t the result we wanted, but I felt like it was a really tight game and we had good opportunities there, but Vegas played a really good game.”
He skated hard, worked the cycle and even made some good defensive plays. A quintessential Hurricane.
“I’m a good skater and these guys really want everyone to play fast and skate really hard and go to the net,” Puljujarvi said. “I think I’m a good fit there and I’ll try to be a really good player for this team and help these guys get those big wins.”
Besides the loss, the Canes also had a bit of a scare with Andrei Svechnikov who went to the locker room twice towards the end of a second. He threw a hit on Alex Martinez and seemed to be favoring a leg immediately after.
“It’s that time of year where you’re hoping not to have any serious injuries,” Brind’Amour said. “Obviously we’re dealing with a couple now and not sure how he’s going to be tomorrow, so we’ll see.”
Svechnikov did return for the third period and finished the game, so at least it doesn’t seem like anything serious.
Carolina is back in action tomorrow as they head to New Jersey to take on the Devils in key Metropolitan Division matchup.