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Recap: Canes Fall to Avalanche in Overtime

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Analysis from Raleigh

→ The Carolina Hurricanes emerged from the bye week and earned a point in their first game back, but they were bested by the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in overtime. Jeff Skinner scored the lone goal for the Hurricanes, while Mikko Rantanen scored the game-winner for the Avs in the final minute of overtime.

"The effort was there, but the execution was lacking so you really had to work hard to overcome the lack of execution," head coach Bill Peters said. "It was rough. Lots of pucks at feet, lots of turnovers."

Video: CAR Recap: Skinner scores in 2-1 OT loss to Avs

→ Considering the record of teams coming out of the bye week (now 3-9-2), it wasn't all that surprising that the Hurricanes looked like a team that had been away from the rink for five days and the Avalanche, even though they were winless on their five-game road trip heading into tonight, looked as if they had been in the rhythm of playing for the last week.

"What everybody said was going to happen happened," Peters said. "Coming out of four days off, this is what it looks like. This isn't a surprise to anybody."

"It's a little difficult to get the passing and flow of the game to be exactly the way you want it when you're off for that long," Jordan Staal said. "I didn't think we did a terrible job, but we definitely didn't look like ourselves for the first bit there."

The Hurricanes, having only skated in one full practice since the end of the bye week, looked a step off for much of the night. Plays that otherwise would have been seamlessly made were clunky and ineffective.

"There are not many nights you're going to play like that and get a point," Peters said. "We didn't skate, we didn't move the puck and we didn't execute. Everything was in the feet. Guys were falling and slipping and sliding. There was no timing."

→ One problem that continues to plague the Hurricanes is their inability to generate consistent offense. The team has managed three goals in their last three games (0-2-1).

"Eventually those guys who aren't getting it done or maybe aren't quite generating as much as they should need to step up," Peters said. "That'd be the best solution to the problem that we have with the lack of offense."

Video: Hear from Skinner, Ryan and Peters Postgame

→ Colorado struck first in tonight's game when Tyson Barrie took advantage of ample time to point, shoot and pick his corner to give his team the 1-0 edge in the first period.

Skinner netted a huge goal in the last minute of the period when he fired a shot on goal from a tough angle along the near boards. The puck had eyes, finding a hole in Calvin Pickard and bouncing through for Skinner's team-leading 19th goal of the season.

From there, scoring dried up for either side until the last minute of 3-on-3 overtime.

"There were definitely some bouncing pucks and plays we'd like back, some mistakes we made to give them those chances," Staal said. "I thought Wardo played great and made some big saves for us to keep it at one. We started getting better and created chances, it came out tied and we couldn't finish."

→ The Hurricanes' five-game homestand continues Sunday night when the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. Toronto currently occupies the second and final wild card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"It's big. Every game is obviously big," Staal said. "It's a team we want to catch. It's going to be a good test for us."

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