The Carolina Hurricanes dropped their third straight game Thursday night in Detroit, as a goal with just four seconds left in regulation gave the Red Wings a 3-2 win and sent the Canes on their way to Montreal with no points.
For Carolina, the game featured a lot of issues that have been persistent, as the ability to put the puck in the net despite controlling the game reared its head again. As did a flat-out bad power play.
About last night:
Where are the goals
In 74 games this season, the Carolina Hurricanes have scored two or fewer goals in 22 of them. That’s 30 percent of games for the entire season.
With Thursday’s two-goal loss, the Canes finished the month of March with their eight game of the month with two or fewer goals in 16 games. That’s 50 percent, if you’re bad at math.
Thursday night, the Hurricanes had their chances. They outshot the Red Wings 33-23. They had three power plays. They piled on a staggering 71.43 CF%, while holding a massive 42-14 edge in scoring chances. The Canes had 19 high-danger chances compared to just six for Detroit, and the expected goals were at 3.78-1.54 in favor of the losing side.
But as has become more and more of a trend lately, none of those numbers reflected the final score. The Canes have lost three games in a row for just the third time this season. Part of it is missing Andrei Svechnikov, of course. Part of it is just a team-wide inability to consistently put the goal in the net.
And boy, the power play has been awful. With an 0 for 3 night with the man advantage Thursday, the Canes 0 for in nine of their last 11 games. Over that stretch, the power play is a horrendous 8%. Single digits! Over the course of 11 games!
And it’s not like the power play is creating but just not cashing in. Thursday, with six minutes of 5-on-4 hockey, the Canes had two shots for and three scoring chances. Three scoring chances in three power play opportunities.
This is a lot of negativity for a team still leading in the Metro, a team that has still won three of its last six games and has points in four of those. A team in the midst of a brutal stretch of its schedule.
Will the Canes be fine? Maybe. Maybe not. This week has been concerning, to say the least. They’re missing Svechnikov for sure, and even bigger picture a goal scorer like Max Pacioretty would be a nice addition here, too. But this group, in its current construction, has had a bad week.
The Metropolitan Division standings are getting rather interesting.
The Canes, losers of three straight, sit at 103 points through 74 games. The Devils, winners of two of their last four including a huge victory over the Rangers Thursday, sit at 102 points through 75 games played.
With eight and seven games left for the two teams, this Metro race is going to come down to the absolute wire. They both have just three home games left, with Carolina having five to play on the road and New Jersey having four.
If there’s good news for the Hurricanes, only one of their remaining eight games is against a team currently in a playoff spot. The Devils have three of seven left against teams currently in a playoff spot, including a matchup with Boston.
Buckle up, folks.