Analysis from Raleigh
→ In the first half of a home-and-home series with the Arizona Coyotes, the Carolina Hurricanes were bested 4-2. Lee Stempniak and Jordan Staal found the back of the net for Carolina, but Jordan Martinook's third-period tally put the Coyotes over the top in a game in which the Hurricanes never led.
"It was a bit back-and-forth. There wasn't a crazy amount of intensity out there," Staal said. "Just a couple mistakes. I don't think we gave up a crazy amount, but when we did they were big chances. That's not going to help you win."
"We chased the game," head coach Bill Peters said. "We never scored early on some good chances, and then we never led."
Video: CAR Recap: Stempniak, Staal score in loss to Coyotes
→ With the game square at two in the third period, Ryan Murphy's clear failed to rim around the glass. Shane Doan intercepted the puck and fed Martinook in the slot. His tally held up as the game-winner.
"We've just got to be smarter with the puck in the third," Jaccob Slavin said. "We had the opportunities, but we got a little lackadaisical there at the end. That cost us the game."
"We turned it over on the game-winner," Peters said. "When you turn pucks over in tough spots, bad things happen."
→ In the first five minutes of the game, the Hurricanes could have easily been up 2-0, if not more. There was a hit post. There were sharp saves by Louis Domingue. There was an empty net that Elias Lindholm missed wide.
Instead, it was the Coyotes who struck first. Christian Dvorak scored on a one-timer to establish a 1-0 lead. Then, Alex Goligoski was left alone in front and tallied his fourth of the season to stretch the Coyotes' lead to two.
The Hurricanes were able to stall Arizona's momentum with a goal in the last minute of the period that halved the lead. Following a faceoff win, Slavin's point shot was redirected in the slot by Stempniak.
Video: Hear from Staal, Slavin, and Peters Postgame
→ Not only did Stempniak's goal slow the Coyotes' momentum, but it also helped swing the pendulum toward the Canes. Just 90 seconds into the third period, Teuvo Teravainen fed Staal with a gorgeous tape-to-tape feed. Staal then deposited the puck in the gaping cage to even the score at two.
"We had some momentum after that. I think we controlled most of the play in the second, but in the third period just a couple mistakes led to their win," Slavin said. "We have spurts of our game where we're dominating play. We've just got to play a full 60 like that, and that's when we'll start breaking through."
"We weren't at the net at all tonight. We weren't hard enough, for sure. We weren't hard enough on the body consistently throughout the lineup," Peters said. "The urgency could have been better. We could have been harder at the net."
→ Jay McClement skated in his 900th career NHL game tonight, and his secondary assist on Stempniak's goal gave him two points (1g, 1a) in his last two games.
→ The Hurricanes head West for a rematch with these same Coyotes on Sunday.
"I think it will be another good game there with a lot of pace to it," Slavin said. "We better get the two points in their building."