CHICAGO - The Carolina Hurricanes saw their five-game winning streak end in a 6-4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Four different players netted goals for the Canes, but it was Alex DeBrincat who tallied the deciding goal with 7:38 remaining in regulation.
HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTO GALLERY | STATISTICS
Though DeBrincat scored the game-winning goal in the latter half of the third period and added an empty-netter to seal it late, the difference in the game was the first period.
Sebastian Aho opened the scoring just 75 seconds into the game, but the remaining 18 minutes and 45 seconds of the first period were a mess. The Canes were whistled for four penalties - one that was ruled an illegal check to the head, though it couldn't have been cleaner and squarer in the chest - and surrendered three power play goals.
"It's unacceptable and pretty hard to win a game when you do that," Dougie Hamilton said.
The Canes played with the lead for just 2:02 before Mattias Janmark got open on the left side and slid in a backhand shot past James Reimer. Dominik Kubalik and Andrew Shaw also tallied on the man advantage in the first period for the Blackhawks, who took a 3-1 lead to the locker room.
"We gave away the game in the first period. When you can't kill penalties, you're not going to win," Brind'Amour said. "To me, it was special teams that lost it for us tonight."
The Canes, meanwhile, were 0-for-4 on the power play.
"Special teams was the difference tonight, for sure," Brind'Amour said.
Plus: The first minute of the second period
The Canes quickly reversed the rotten fortunes of a flat first period with a gangbuster opening minute in the second that saw the team score two goals in eight seconds, tying a team record (since relocation).
Nino Niederreiter got the first just 42 seconds in, as he backhanded in a loose puck off a Jaccob Slavin point shot that Martin Necas got a piece of on the way to the net.
Video: CAR@CHI: Niederreiter finds twine from in close
On the ensuing faceoff, Hamilton jumped a pass at the red line and carried the puck into the offensive zone. He put a well-placed shot on goal, and the rebound popped right out to Svechnikov, who made no mistake.
Video: CAR@CHI: Svechnikov finds twine on Hamilton's rebound
Minus: Necas injured
When the Canes were pressing for another game-tying goal late in the third period, Martin Necas absorbed a heavy but clean bodycheck along the boards from former Hurricane Calvin de Haan. Necas was unable to brace himself for the fall, and his helmeted head bounced off the ice, leaving the sophomore forward dazed. De Haan gave Necas a stick tap as he was being helped off the ice under the assistance of head athletic trainer Doug Bennett and Niederreiter.
Brind'Amour had no additional update on Necas' status after the game, but the obvious concern is his head.
"It's never nice to see your buddy go down," Aho said. "Hopefully everything is OK."
50: Svechnikov's goal was the 50th of his NHL career. The second overall pick from 2018 leads his draft class in goals (50) and points (107).
"3 or 4": Brett Pesce took an errant puck off the side of his face in the first period. He returned to action in the second after receiving "3 or 4" stitches.
8: The Canes have twice in team history (since relocation) scored two goals eight seconds apart. Before Niederreiter and Svechnikov accomplished the feat tonight, Justin Williams and Micheal Ferland did it in the first period on Nov. 18, 2018.
Quote of the Night
"We're trying to get better for the next game. We're not going to dwell on it too much. … There's a way we have to play to be successful, and we have to get back to it." - Rod Brind'Amour
The Canes have a day off in Raleigh on Friday before departing Saturday for Columbus, where they will play back-to-back games on Sunday and Monday.