The Carolina Hurricanes attempted a third period comeback but could not erase a multi-goal deficit in a 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.
Nino Niederreiter and Lucas Wallmark scored for the Canes in the third period of the team's first home games in two weeks following a 4-0-1 road trip.
Here are five takeaways from Saturday night in Raleigh.
1. Road Trip Hangover?
It's fair to wonder how the Hurricanes felt the effects of an 11-day road trip that crisscrossed time zones and covered well over 7,000 miles. The team landed early Friday morning and less than 48 hours was back in action.
That's a tough ask, especially after battling and grinding for nine of a possible 10 points.
"Lot of traveling. A lot of time differences," Teuvo Teravainen said. "It is what it is."
Video: Postgame Quotes: Teuvo Teravainen
And what it was wasn't a bad effort from the Canes - perhaps aside from the penalties - but they didn't come away with two points.
"I don't think we played terrible. Guys were working hard, trying to find ways to get goals," Jordan Staal said. "We shot a lot of pucks, and they blocked a lot tonight."
2. No Bounces
The Hurricanes peppered Chris Driedger with 44 shots, two of which beat him. Another 23 pucks were blocked by the Panthers, and an additional 17 missed the net.
In total, the Canes registered 84 shot attempts. The Panthers had 34.
"We didn't get the bounces tonight. That's essentially all it was," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "I thought our guys played hard. Their goalie was great. You've got to give him a lot of credit. He made a ton of really nice saves. I give their team credit for blocking a lot of shots. They were sacrificing and doing the things necessary to win the game. I thought our game was solid. If we play like that and continue to play like that, we're going to get more wins than losses."
"We didn't really get the bounces tonight. Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win," Teravainen mused. "That's it."
3. Penalty Kill Bends
The Hurricanes entered the game with the second-best penalty kill in the NHL, but the Panthers finished the night 2-for-3 on the power play.
"You're going to have a tough time winning games giving up two on the PK," Staal said. "Our PK kind of got run into the ground on that road trip a bit. I thought we killed a lot, probably too much. It showed tonight."
Video: Postgame Quotes: Jordan Staal
That has some weight to it. Over the last six games, the Canes have averaged 9:40 of penalty minutes per game - and, disregard for a moment the dizzying glut of penalties doled out in the second period. That's a lot to ask of the man disadvantage, even one that's ranked second in the league.
"I think we take too many penalties in general," Staal said. "As a group, I think we can do a better job keeping our sticks down."
"A couple bad bounces, in my opinion, but that happens," Brind'Amour said of the two power-play goals scored by the Panthers. "We still can't take those penalties. That's probably the one negative of the game."
4. Attempting the Comeback
Teuvo Teravainen's rebound attempt glanced off the stick of Nino Niederreiter to get the Canes on the board nearly halfway through the third period. Just about 90 seconds later, Noel Acciari, who registered two straight hat tricks coming into the game, restored the Panthers' three goal lead.
Video: FLA@CAR: Niederreiter puts Hurricanes on the board
Lucas Wallmark struck on the power play just over two minutes later to bring the Canes back within a couple goals, but that's as close as they would come.
Video: FLA@CAR: Wallmark finishes Niederreiter's feed
"We were getting lots of chances," Staal said. "We were expecting it to go in at some point."
5. Haula Back
After missing the last 15 games and 19 of the last 21 with a knee injury, Erik Haula returned to the Canes lineup, centering Ryan Dzingel and Martin Necas. Haula finished the night tying a team-high in five shots on goal, seven shot attempts and a 67 percent faceoff win rate in 15:15 of ice time.
"He's really good at the net and a really good player all-around," Teravainen said of his countryman. "It's good to have him back."
It's back to Canada for the Hurricanes, who square off with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m.
"We've got to grind one more game," Teravainen said. "Then, we get a little bit of rest."