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Recap: Canes Topped by Flyers

Wallmark tallies his second, but Canes fall 4-1

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

PHILADELPHIA - The Carolina Hurricanes surrendered three goals in the third period in a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Lucas Wallmark scored the lone goal for the Hurricanes, while Travis Konecny's early third-period goal was the difference in the contest.

Here are five takeaways from a Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

1. Frustrating Loss

Plenty of scoring chances. An even game heading into the third period. A power-play opportunity in the final frame. Sound play away from the puck.

But, zero points.

"I thought we were playing well and deserved a little more," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "It's a frustrating game for me because I think had we just stuck to it a little bit more, maybe things would have been different. Their goalie was good, and they capitalized."

2. The Difference

The difference in the game was, of course, the third period, in which the Flyers scored an early goal to take the lead and then added a pair late to secure the win.

"We want to keep creating chances and shots," Jordan Staal said. "I didn't think we stuck with what we wanted to do and the way we wanted to play, and it showed."

"We came away from our identity. We have to play our game to be successful," Wallmark said. "I think we're trying to play a little too fancy in some moments out there. We have to play our game."

With the score even at one after two periods, this game essentially boiled down to who would win the final 20 minutes. The Flyers took advantage of an early-period miscue from the Canes, a breakout pass that bounced off a stick in the slot and eventually ended up in the back of their own net. Matt Niskanen had the initial point shot, and Travis Konecny cleaned up the near-side rebound.

"Now all of a sudden, you're chasing it a little bit," Brind'Amour said.

The Canes had an opportunity on the power play to tie the game at two in the third but came up empty. The man advantage, which finished 0-for-3, had previously notched a goal in four straight games.

"We were getting a little too cute and trying to make something out of nothing when there's not much there," Staal said. "They have some talent and can score some goals. They did a good job of burying us."

3. Simplify

The Hurricanes had their chances to score, to be sure. Carter Hart turned aside 14 shots in the first period alone, a few of which were grade-A scoring opportunities.

"I'll be blunt. We've changed our group this year a little bit, and we're talented. But that doesn't win. That does not win if you don't get to the net, grind out the goals first and grind that mentality," Brind'Amour said. "When you're looking for all that pretty stuff - you'll get one or two nice ones here or there, and you'll go, 'Oh, nice, beautiful,' but it's the traffic - you've got to get to the net and overshoot the puck to create the chaos. That's what we're not doing and haven't done really all year. That's my job. I've got to rein these guys in and change their mindset a little bit. We'll get there."

Sometimes, the simplest play is the smartest play.

"The league is too good. If you think you're better than everybody else in the league, you're going to be in trouble. You've got to do it right. We worked hard tonight. We work hard. We did a real good job defensively," Brind'Amour said. "When we had our opportunities, we're looking for the pretty play a little bit too much. Every once in a while it will work, but it's not a recipe for success long-term. There's a fine line in there, making plays and trying to be creative, but you've got to get a little more simplified."

4. Tic Tac Goal

A tic-tac-toe passing play resulted in the Hurricanes squaring up the score at one in the second period. From the near corner below the goal line, Martin Necas hit Trevor van Riemsdyk, pinching from the point. Van Riemsdyk then slid the puck to Lucas Wallmark, who established positioning in the slot to bang home his second of the season.

Video: CAR@PHI: Wallmark scores off feed from van Riemsdyk

"It was a great forecheck by Marty and Zinger," Wallmark said. "I saw 'Reimer, and he saw me in front of the net. It was a great play by him. Open net."

"[Wallmark] was great, and he's been good for us, but he can't be our best player," Brind'Amour said. "We've got other guys who need to be better, for sure. … We had a lot of good performances tonight. It's unfortunate we get the loss."

5. 11 and 7

For the third time this season, the Hurricanes' lineup featured the combination of 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Erik Haula did not practice on Monday and didn't make the trip with the team, either, missing his first game of the season with a lower-body concern.

Up Next

The Hurricanes return home for another Metropolitan Division match-up when they host the New York Rangers on Thursday.

"Points] are crucial at any point in the season. It's always big in division games, as well," Staal said. "We're going to have to get back to our style and our play and start taking it to teams, playing the way we want to play."

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