DETROIT - The Carolina Hurricanes had their eight-game winning streak snapped in 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.
"It could have gone either way. I thought we played pretty well, and they played a really good game. They played us hard," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "They capitalized, and that's it. We move on. It certainly wasn't a lack of effort."
HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTO GALLERY | STATISTICS
How often in the Canes' eight-game winning streak was special teams the difference in the game? Four times the Canes scored multiple goals on the man advantage, once going 3-for-3 and twice going 2-for-3, and the penalty kill was 24-for-27 (88.9%). Those are statistics that win games.
The difference tonight? Detroit won the special teams battle, and they won it early.
Adam Erne tallied twice on the power play for the Red Wings in the first period, which gave them a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.
"We didn't win the special teams war. We gave up those two early. That's hard to come back from," Brind'Amour said. "Our power play got one but it wasn't that good. We had other opportunities but didn't really execute correctly. That's the game right there. We had our looks. 5-on-5, I thought we were fine. We didn't give up a heck of a lot, but you can't give up two on the penalty kill and win very many games in this league."
The difference as defined by the box score was Robby Fabbri's sixth goal of the season, which put the Red Wings up 3-2 with seven-and-a-half minutes left to play in the second period, but it was the Wings' power play that kickstarted their game.
As Brind'Amour mentioned, the Canes did pot one on the power play, and it came just 2:21 into the game.
The Canes worked the puck off the far boards to Jake Bean at the point. He walked to the middle of the ice and fed Jesper Fast down low at the right circle. Fast then centered the puck to Nino Niederreiter for the easy tap-in.
Video: CAR@DET: Niederreiter taps in PPG on the doorstep
"We had a good start, but at the end of the day, it wasn't good enough," Niederreiter said. "We just made some bad decisions and didn't place the puck where we wanted to. That backfired on us."
The goal was Niederreiter's 13th of the season, tying him for the team lead.
Plus: Martin Necas
It's so much fun watching Martin Necas play hockey. His speed is electric, his stickhandling is dazzling and his playmaking ability is tantalizing. All three were on display in a scoring sequence he helped create in the second period.
Necas revved up his motor through the neutral zone and eluded three Red Wings defenders at the blue line. He then dangled past a fourth - Dylan Larkin, no less - into open ice, where he threaded a pass through a sea of sticks over to Sebastian Aho for the bar-down one-timer.
A highlight reel play from start to Finnish.
Video: CAR@DET: Aho roofs Niederreiter's cross-ice set-up
Minus: Winning streak snapped
Of course this is the minus, right? The Canes were confident and rolling, seemingly destined to at least match their franchise-best winning streak of nine games. But, this is the National Hockey League, and even a team buried in the standings can hang with any given team on any given night.
Detroit has won nine games, and five of them have come against Florida, Carolina and Tampa Bay, the three top teams in the Central Division and three of best in the entire league. It happens!
"It's the best league in the world. You can't win every game," Necas said. "It was a close game today. We've got to learn from it."
"They're at the bottom of the standings, but they're still hard to beat," Niederreiter said. "They work very hard and compete. They play simple hockey."
44.8: Since Feb. 27, when the now-defunct winning streak began, the Canes are 13-for-29 (44.8%) on the power play, which ranks first in the NHL.
9: Dougie Hamilton notched the secondary assist on Aho's goal in the second period, which extends his point streak to nine games (2g, 9a). Hamilton's point streak is the longest by any Canes player and the longest by all NHL defensemen this season.
11: Hamilton recorded a career high 11 shots on goal, which accounted for 29.7% of the Canes' total shot output for the game.
Save of the Game?
Brock McGinn: one tough hockey player and maybe the Canes' new EBUG.
Quote of the Night
"We've got to be dialed in every game and every second on the ice. … We've got to be just a little bit better. You can't win every game, but today especially, special teams made a big difference. We've got to be better in that." - Martin Necas
The Canes open a four-game series against the Columbus Blue Jackets with two at home beginning on Thursday.