NASHVILLE - The Carolina Hurricanes dropped a double-overtime heartbreaker for the second game in a row, falling to the Nashville Predators 4-3 in Game 4.
Brock McGinn tallied two goals, but Luke Kunin's second of the game was the difference in the second overtime.
"It's a tough pill to swallow," McGinn said. "You work so hard to get it into double overtime. To lose both of them is not easy, but this group has been here before."
HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTO GALLERY | STATISTICS
The Big Picture
Less than 48 hours after playing 94 minutes and 54 seconds of hockey, the Canes played 96 minutes and 10 seconds of hockey, two of the three longest playoff games in franchise history. That's physically draining, obviously, and then to lose both games is mentally draining.
But even though the Predators evened out the series at two games apiece, the Canes aren't smashing the panic button. And why would they? They still have home-ice advantage in what is now a best-of-three series, and when they look back at tape from Game 4, they're going to like a whole lot of what they see.
The Canes peppered Juuse Saros with 61 shots. His franchise-record 58 saves was a big reason why the game went to double overtime again in the first place.
The shot attempt numbers illustrate even more dominance. The Canes out-attempted the Predators 129-72, including 38-8 in the first period and 26-9 in the second overtime.
"If you watch that game, it's evident what makes us successful. We get in on the forecheck, start rumbling around, take pucks to the net," Jordan Martinook said. "It's a recipe for success. We're wearing them down. That's what we want to do. They're going to score goals, but we need to just stick with what we do and what makes us successful. That's all we need to do. We're right there."
Video: "We battled hard."
The Canes will digest video and make little tweaks here and there and maybe key in on an 0-for-3 power play performance in Game 4, but aside from the result, there's not much the team is going to want to change moving forward in the series.
"When you get worried is when those chances aren't coming. We're getting those chances. They're there. We have a skilled team. If we keep getting those chances, they'll eventually go in. I like our chances if we keep getting them and keep doing what we're doing," Martinook said. "I like where our game is at. We'll be OK."
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes the bounces just don't go your way.
"You want better. You feel like you deserve better. It doesn't work that way," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "We have to regroup and come back. It's cliché, but what's done is done. We're moving on."
Playoff Brock McGinn has arrived.
McGinn, no stranger to scoring big goals in the postseason, tallied a critical pair, one to tie the game late in the second period and one to give the Canes their first lead of the game just 13 seconds into the third.
McGinn's first of the game was a bullet from the near boards. Saros couldn't spot it through a screen in front, and the puck pinged off the post and in, which tied the game at two with 1:55 left in the second.
Video: CAR@NSH, Gm4: McGinn rings sharp-angle slap shot home
Just 128 seconds of game time later, McGinn gave the Canes their first lead of the afternoon. Jordan Staal won the opening draw, and the Canes got the puck deep and got to work on the forecheck. Martinook laid a heavy hit on Roman Josi on the right-side boards. Staal claimed the loose puck and dished it into the slot, where it rattled around and ended up on McGinn's stick. As he was falling to the ice, McGinn lifted a wrist shot over Saros' blocker-side shoulder.
Video: CAR@NSH, Gm4: McGinn nets second 13 seconds into 3rd
The Canes dominated shot attempts in the first period, 38-8. Of those 38 attempts, 17 pucks were on net, and the one that went in was a greasy one, but that's playoff hockey, right? And they all count just the same.
Martin Necas threw a changeup, but Vincent Trocheck got his blade on the trickling puck to help it over the goal line.
Video: CAR@NSH, Gm4: Trocheck scores following 3-on-2 rush
The goal was Trocheck's second in as many games.
40:16: Brett Pesce logged a game-high 40:16 of ice time, this after playing 39:27 on Friday. Over the last three games, Pesce has totaled 107:45 of ice time.
39: Alex Nedeljkovic equaled his jersey number in saves with 39. Time and time again he came up with game-saving stops. He turned aside a 2-on-0 opportunity.
Video: CAR@NSH, Gm4: Nedeljkovic robs Trenin on 2-on-0 rush
And he'll give Nick Cousins nightmares.
Video: CAR@NSH, Gm4: Nedeljkovic extends, stops Cousins
Video: CAR@NSH, Gm4: Nedeljkovic robs Cousins late in 3rd
13: McGinn's second goal of the game, scored 13 seconds into the third period, is the fastest goal from the start of a period in franchise postseason history.
Quote of the Night
"It's two really good fanbases that take a lot of pride in getting their buildings rocking. I have no doubt the Caniacs are sitting back home biting their fingernails getting ready to tear the roof off that place." - Jordan Martinook
It's back to Raleigh for Game 5 on Tuesday.
"There's not much that needs to be said," Brind'Amour said. "We need to replicate that kind of game, and I'll feel pretty good if we do."