Analysis from Raleigh
→ The result of the game - a vital one considering the nature of the Eastern Conference playoff race - is one thing. But sometimes that's secondary to the health and well-being of one of the players, as is the case tonight.
The Carolina Hurricanes earned a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings to extend their point streak to 11 games (7-0-4), but goaltender Eddie Lack suffered an injury on the final play of the game and was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher.
"It's hard to think about the game," Jordan Staal said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Eddie right now."
"I'm not really thinking about [the game]. Just worried about Eddie. I think everyone in this room is," Justin Faulk said. "Hoping he's OK. The game is one thing, but there are some things that are more important."
→ Andreas Anthanasiou scored the game-winning goal for the Red Wings in overtime, but the play surrounding the goal is the larger concern. Athanasiou was motoring into the zone at a high rate of speed, and as he scored, he barreled into a sprawled and vulnerable Lack, who absorbed every bit of the high-speed collision.
"He was going hard to the net," Staal said. "It's a fast game, and he was going fast. It was an unfortunate play."
Video: DET@CAR: Lack taken off ice following collision
Lack was face-first on the ice, visibly in pain while being tended to by the on-site trainers and medical staff.
Meanwhile, the officiating crew confirmed the goal on the ice, ruling no goaltender interference before the puck crossed over the blue and into the white.
"I don't think anyone in this league is trying to hit guys or run into goalies like that at that speed. It's fast and unfortunate," Faulk said. "You just don't like to see it."
The two teams gathered around Lack, who was hoisted onto a stretcher. As he was being wheeled off the ice amid chants of "Eddie! Eddie!" Lack offered an encouraging thumbs up.
The Swedish netminder was transported to UNC REX Hospital for further evaluation following the game. The Hurricanes have announced that Lack has full feeling in his extremities, and further updates on his condition will be released when available.
"He's had a tough season with injuries and all the stuff that's gone on for him. To see him play as well as he has as of late and giving us a chance to make a push has been a lot of fun," Staal said. "Hopefully he recovers from this quick whatever it may be and he's back on the ice very soon."
→ Now, for the hockey.
Justin Faulk tonight: clutch. Twice Faulk scored in the final minute of a period to tie the game.
Video: DET@CAR: Faulk finds twine on drive from the circle
His goal with 58 seconds left in the second period, a dangle around Dylan Larkin and a shot that beat Petr Mrazek, evened the score at two and helped swing momentum back toward the Hurricanes.
Then, with 52 seconds left in regulation, Faulk accepted a pass from Noah Hanifin and beat Mrazek through a screen to make it a 3-3 hockey game and force overtime.
Video: DET@CAR: Faulk ties the game with his second goal
"That's a great point, boy," head coach Bill Peters said. "To get a point out of that is huge. We need to learn from the way we played today to be better tomorrow."
→ The Hurricanes had a firm grip on the shots on goal advantage and were seemingly in control of the game. That changed in 70 short seconds, when Anthony Mantha scored back-to-back goals to give his team a 2-1 lead in the second period.
"I think guys were trying so hard to do good things that made it harder than it needed to be," Peters said. "We definitely gave some good looks up through the neutral zone."
The momentum the Canes' earned back with Faulk's late goal in the second period didn't carry over much into the third period. The Hurricanes took a pair of penalties early, and the Red Wings capitalized on the second opportunity when defensive zone coverage broke down and left Tomas Tatar wide open for the easy tally.
→ Jeff Skinner keeps on scoring, and that's a good thing.
Video: CAR@DET: Skinner opens scoring with deflected drive
Skinner's team-leading 31st goal of the season opened the scoring in tonight's contest, a shot that floated in under Mrazek's arm. Skinner now has tallied goals, eight of them in all, in six straight games.
→ It's almost hard to believe that, in less than 24 hours, these same two teams will come together on the same ice surface for another game. It's a rare situation made even more unusual considering the seismic shift in emotion at the tail end of Monday's game.
Somehow, some way, the Hurricanes will have to regroup and refocus heading into Tuesday night's rematch - their playoff hopes depend on it.
"It's our job. We've got to come in and play," Faulk said. "Nothing really else, I guess, you can do. I don't know if there's any magic formula or any special trick to get your mind right for tomorrow."
"We are going to regroup and come back with the right answer tomorrow," Peters said. "Right now, I think everyone is thinking about their teammate. That's kind of where our thoughts are. We'll come in tomorrow, know more about that situation and then refocus on hockey."