Analysis from Raleigh
→ The Carolina Hurricanes attempted to climb out of a three-goal hole, but their comeback bid fell just short, as they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks. Teuvo Teravainen and Victor Rask scored for the Hurricanes while Ryan Kesler and Jakob Silfverberg each scored twice for the visiting squad.
"When we use our speed, can play a quick transition game, get in on the forecheck and sustain that offensive pressure, that's when we're at our best," Jeff Skinner said. "That's what we go to in the third and for us, something we've got to get to on a more consistent basis."
Video: CAR Recap: Hurricanes come up short in 4-2 loss
→ It was a scoreless affair after one period, but the Ducks jumped out ahead by three goals in the span of just about eight minutes in the second. Kesler banged home a no-look feed from Andrew Cogliano in the slot, and then Silfverberg scored twice, once on a rebound and another one-on-one with Brett Pesce draped on him, to make it a 3-0 game.
"I thought we had a good start and then needed to sustain that start and needed to push. A couple missed assignments in the second and then an unassisted goal on the game-winner," head coach Bill Peters said. "All of a sudden you're on your heels, and you have to change your bench. We shuffled the deck and shortened up, and you'd rather not do that."
"They got the lead and three goals pretty quickly," Teravainen said. "We tried to turn it around, work harder, get to the net and shoot some pucks."
The Canes would get one back with just over five minutes left in the second period, which helped stall the Ducks' momentum. Jaccob Slavin's point shot was redirected past Jonathan Bernier by Teravainen in the slot.
"You need some ugly ones to get it going," Teravainen said. "We almost got it tied. It was a good try but not enough."
→ Three minutes into the third period, Rask pulled the Hurricanes within a goal. Lee Stempniak did yeoman's work along the near boards to work the puck down low to where Skinner corralled it and fired it to Rask in the slot, and the Canes' 23-year-old center finished for his fifth goal of the season.
"We were pressing. Towards the end of the second we picked it up," Skinner said. "We'd like to get that sense of urgency and push from the start of the game. That's something we need to work on."
Rask had a gift-wrapped opportunity not too long after, as Bernier was caught wandering with the puck finding its way onto Rask's stick in the slot. But, Bernier was able to scramble back into the crease and flash the pad to preserve his team's 3-2 lead.
"It's not like we didn't have our looks to make it 3-3," Peters said, also noting the power-play the Canes had down the stretch and the mayhem in Bernier's crease in the last minute of the game.
Ultimately, erasing a three-goal lead, especially in the last half of the game, was going to be a tall task for the Hurricanes against a talented Ducks squad. The Canes had looks and chances, but Kesler's empty-net goal with just 26 seconds remaining sealed the deal.
"Three goals, that's a big lead," Peters said. "They went away a lot earlier in the year around the league, but I don't think they're going to be going away as readily moving forward now that we're in the middle of November."
"We know we need some wins," Teravainen said. "We've got to battle harder."
Video: Hear from Skinner, Teravainen and Peters postgame
→ Tonight's game was a physical, heavy match. In the second period, Viktor Stalberg crunched Cam Fowler behind the net, and Josh Manson took exception. The two tossed down their mitts and tussled briefly.
"I thought Stalberg's big hit, he's physically and emotionally engaged in the game, and that drags guys into the battle," Peters said.
→ In today's morning skate, the Canes' third defensive pairing looked to be Jakub Nakladal and Klas Dahlbeck. In warm-ups, that third pair became Ryan Murphy and Dahlbeck, as Nakladal was a healthy scratch.
"That's been a mystery, that third pair," Peters said. "If you charted all the combinations, there'd be a bunch of combinations. We haven't found one that we think is 100 percent successful that works for us right now. We're still looking there."
→ The Hurricanes' five-game homestand rolls along on Saturday when the Washington Capitals come to town.
"We have to take all the good things from here and build on that," Teravainen said. "We have to stay positive. There are a lot of games left, and now we're home. We're going to battle hard every night and get some wins."
"Just keep plugging away," Skinner said. "This is a big, big homestand for us. We know we have to pick up some points. It's back to work next game. That's our mindset."