GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Carolina Hurricanes scored late in regulation to salvage a point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Arizona Coyotes.
Jordan Staal had the game-tying goal with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, but the Coyotes scored twice in the shootout to win their first home game of the season. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes suffered their first loss in Arizona since 2005 (6-0-1) and are now winless in their last four games (0-2-2).
Here are five takeaways from tonight's contest in the desert.
It took nearly 58 minutes, but the Hurricanes finally found the twine late in regulation to breathe new life into the team.
Sebastian Aho put a gorgeous cross-ice feed on the tape of Jordan Staal, who was streaking to the net with speed and finished with authority.
Video: CAR@ARI: Staal buries Aho's dish to even the game
"Seabass did a great job hounding the puck," Staal said. "I think he pick-pocketed somebody and saw me backdoor. I was fortunate enough to do the easy part."
"I thought we pushed in the third. I thought we had a real good third period and a good overtime. The guys stayed with it," head coach Bill Peters said. "I think we deserved one in the third. We had a lot of zone time and some good looks. Right now we're struggling to score, so it was nice to see one go in."
Aho has yet to find the back of the net this season, but his seventh assist, which ranks second on the team, embodied his offensive talents.
"When he's moving his feet and playing with speed, he's very effective," Peters said. "He was a big part of that goal and the tempo we had on that shift. I thought that line was a good line for us once we shuffled the deck after 40 minutes."
Prior to the goal, though, there wasn't much happening offensively for the Canes, who are just a game removed from scoring three goals in a 60-shot effort in Colorado on Thursday.
Inconsistency continues to mar the team's game.
"We're not ready to go. That can be myself, the leadership and the group we have, making sure everyone's ready to go, each individual player ready to work and work smart," Staal said.
The power play had opportunities to spark the Canes' offense tonight, but it once again came up empty. The Canes are now just 1-for-17 on the man advantage in their last seven games, which includes a 0-for-3 mark tonight.
Jeff Skinner, perhaps the team's most dangerous forward tonight as is often the case, had a penalty shot early in the second period that he sent wide of the net.
The Hurricanes continue to be marred by inconsistency, especially on the offensive side of the puck. If that had found twine, perhaps the results are different. Instead, it was Clayton Keller's 10th goal of the season at the other end of the ice that gave the Coyotes the first advantage of the game nearly 10 minutes later.
Roland McKeown became the fourth Canes player this season to make his NHL debut. He finished the game with two penalty minutes, three shot attempts (one on goal) and three blocked shots in 9:05 of ice time.
"It was nice. Got a close chance there on the first shift which felt good. Kind of settled in," he said. "Got hemmed in a couple times and had a couple good shifts in the O-zone. It was up-and-down a little bit, but good to get the first one out of the way."
And the nerves? Not too bad.
"Honestly they were fine once we got out there and warmed up," McKeown said. "The game is quicker and the decisions you have to make that much faster, but I honestly felt pretty good."
The Canes shortened their bench heading into the third period, so the 21-year-old defenseman didn't take a shift in the final 20 minutes of regulation or overtime.
"He was physical and hard on people in his battles," Peters said. "We went down to five in the final period just looking for a little bit of jump. I thought we had better legs, got more guys into the game and were a little cleaner in our D-zone transition."
The Hurricanes will head home with just one of a possible four points on this trip. Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers becomes more magnified now.
"We've got to have a good, quality practice on Monday," Peters said. "We've got to adjust and fix a few things and then move on."
"It's got to be key for our team. It's been frustrating and not good enough," Staal said. "We have to make sure everyone is ready to go and fired up from the drop of the puck."
The Hurricanes will play one game over the next five days when they host Florida at PNC Arena on Tuesday.