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Early Deficit Dooms Canes

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes

Michael Smith
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TRAVERSE CITY – The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t overcome an early deficit in their second game of the NHL Prospects Tournament, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Dallas Stars.

Sergey Tolchinsky and Victor Rask each tallied a goal and an assist, and the Canes were within a goal late in the second and into the third period, but they couldn’t find the equalizer. Daniel Altshuller made 22 saves in net.

“I think we had a pretty good effort, but we weren’t disciplined enough in the defensive zone, especially in the first period,” Tolchinsky said. “We played the second period pretty good, but we were a little bit unlucky in the third period. Dallas played good defensively, too. A pretty good effort, still.”

“A few guys could have been a little better tonight on a back-to-back, but we knew going in that some guys might hit a wall a little bit, and I think that showed in the first period,” head coach Jeff Daniels said. “We kind of dug ourselves in a hole. I thought we got stronger as the game went on, but unfortunately we couldn’t find that game-tying goal.”

The Canes found themselves on the wrong side of the ice for much of the first period, though they did begin to match the pace of Dallas as the period and game progressed.

“We didn’t get enough pucks deep. When we did that, we showed glimpses of a good cycle game, creating some offense and moving our legs,” Daniels said. “But too many times tonight, especially in the first period, we were turning the puck over at the blue line trying to be too cute, and as a result, we spent some time in our D zone.”

When the Canes mounted pressure in the offensive zone, Tolchinsky and Rask were often involved, even when missing Brock McGinn (lower-body) on the left side. The Canes’ first goal came via a beautiful cross-ice feed from Rask onto Tolchinsky’s tape, which he finished in one-time fashion. Rask potted the team’s second goal, capping off a pressuring shift with a shot that fooled Stars goaltender Henri Kiviaho from the top of the far circle.

“He’s a smart guy. He’s got good vision and high skill,” Tolchinsky said of Rask. “It’s easy to play with him. I know where he’s going to go, and he knows where I’m going to go.”

“He’s a smart player and really talented,” Rask said of Tolchinsky. “It’s fun to play with him.”

“I know Rask pretty well, and, for me, he’s just a solid two-way guy. He’s always in the right position, and he can make plays. He’ll find Sergei,” Daniels said. “Sergei is a guy that can create some offense. He’s always moving his legs. They’re a great fit.”

Dallas leapfrogs the Canes in the division standings; with an overtime win and a regulation win, they have five points, while the Canes remain with three. Carolina will need a victory over New York plus a Buffalo regulation or overtime win over Dallas on Monday to have a shot at playing in the championship game on Tuesday.

“We’ll give them the day off the ice tomorrow so hopefully all 20 guys get their legs ready to go, as opposed to 15 or so guys going today,” Daniels said. “We’ll need to do just all those little things you hear all the time consistently for 60 minutes.”

2014-15 PROSPECTS TOURNAMENT
DATE VISITOR HOME TIME / RESULT
FRI SEP 12, 2014 HURRICANES SABRES 6-1 W
SAT SEP 13, 2014 STARS HURRICANES 4-2 L
MON SEP 15, 2014 HURRICANES RANGERS 6:30 PM
TUE SEP 16, 2014 TBD TBD TBD



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