Analysis from Raleigh
→ The Carolina Hurricanes had their franchise-best 13-game point streak snapped by the Dallas Stars in a 3-0 loss on Saturday. Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves, and Jason Spezza's second-period goal was the difference.
"It wasn't easy to take. We've played some great hockey and given ourselves a chance," Jordan Staal said. "Tonight was much the same as the other night against Columbus. We thought we could stick with it and find a way. We had a few chances, but tonight it didn't go in."
"I thought everything was a grind. Everything seemed hard and a split second late or in the feet offensively," head coach Bill Peters assessed. "I don't think we executed as well as we have recently."
Video: CAR Recap: Canes get shut out in 3-0 home loss
→ After scoring an NHL high 54 goals in the month of March, the Hurricanes' offense ran dry as April began. For whatever reason, the Canes couldn't find the spark needed to generate much. The team fired 25 shots on goal, including just five in the second period.
Some of their best chances came in the first period. At one point, the Hurricanes had a 3-on-1 rush with a defenseman jumping into the play. The sliding play of Stars defenseman Dan Hamuis helped break up the play, and the Canes went without a shot. Later, the team had essentially a 2-on-0 rush after a tough change by Dallas on the power play. Teuvo Teravainen's pass to Elias Lindholm skipped over his blade, and that was that.
"That was kind of us offensively," Peters said. "We were off, for sure."
"We had some odd-man rushes and created some opportunities for ourselves, but we were unable to execute like we normally do," Jeff Skinner said. "That would have helped, for sure."
"There wasn't a whole lot going on. The puck was bouncing in between the teams," Staal said. "We had to take control if we wanted to win, and we didn't."
Video: Hear from Staal, Skinner, and Peters Postgame
→ Maybe it was the schedule catching up to the Hurricanes. This was, after all, the team's 18th game in the last 32 days. Maybe it was bound to happen after a 14-game run like the Canes had. Maybe it was just one of those nights.
"It was tough for us to get into the flow of the game and generate back-to-back-to-back shifts that were good for us," Skinner said. "We had some real good chances but then just couldn't seem to follow it up with enough on the next shift."
"I thought the game had pace to it, and it was hard to get into the valuable ice tonight," Peters said. "For whatever reason … everything was just a little off, just a little bit off."
→ Cam Ward did everything asked of him in order to keep the Hurricanes within a shot of changing the tide of this game.
Shortly after Jason Spezza gave the Stars a 1-0 lead from nearly the exact same spot and with nearly the exact same shot as Jack Johnson did on Thursday night, Ward made a beauty of a kick save on Remi Elie to keep it a one-goal game. In the third period, Spezza burst into the zone with speed on a breakaway and was stonewalled by Ward.
→ The Hurricanes' playoff hopes are now slim; they're going to need to basically run the table and get some help. A new streak can begin less than 24 hours from now in a 5 p.m. Sunday puck drop in Pittsburgh.
"It's a quick turnaround," Peters said. "I'm concerned more about the back-to-back than anything."