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Recap: Canes Shut Out by Budaj, Kings

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Analysis from Raleigh

→ The Carolina Hurricanes' losing streak became elongated to five games in their last game before the All-Star break, as the Los Angeles Kings scored three goals in the final five minutes of regulation to skate away with a 3-0 win. Peter Budaj made 22 saves in the Canes' first shutout loss of the season.

"We have to score to win. It would have been nice to get one past him," Jordan Staal said. "It kind of seemed like the first team to score was going to find a way to win the game."

Video: Hear from Faulk, Aho, and Peters after tonight's game

→ It was a scoreless game until there was just 4:43 left on the clock. Drew Doughty skated the puck into the zone and fed Marian Gaborik, who weaved through the defense and slid the puck past Cam Ward to put the Kings up 1-0.

Not long after that, Trevor Lewis poked in a loose puck to put the dagger in the Hurricanes and give his team a 2-0 lead. Kyle Clifford added an empty-net goal at the 17:36 mark to twist the knife further.

Confidence-wise, the Canes are fragile.

"It's probably not the lowest you've ever seen it, but it's definitely not high," Justin Faulk said. "We went into tonight playing all right, not giving them too much, and then they get the one and pile it on with two and three. Whenever you're on a losing streak like this, you become a little fragile. I think it's showing a little bit."

→ The Hurricanes had chances to break the scoreless tie long before Los Angeles took a late lead. In the second period, Elias Lindholm fed Sebastian Aho on a rush, and Budaj slid over to make a great blocker save. The puck bounced off the crossbar before Staal knifed the rebound high and wide.

""I thought we did have some good looks," head coach Bill Peters said. "We needed one of those to go, and I think it might have been different."

Additionally, the Hurricanes were 0-for-4 on the power play, which included two opportunities on the man advantage in the third period. The team has now converted just three of their last 47 power-play chances.

"You earn your confidence in life," Peters said. "You earn it by working hard, outworking your opponents and doing good things. If you continually do good things, good things will happen."

"We're just not executing," Faulk said. "We've had opportunities to tie games, to get leads or even get some momentum, and it's just been ugly."

→ Not even two weeks ago, the Hurricanes were winners of four straight and within inches of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. They were consistently outplaying opponents and generating results.

The team today doesn't resemble that team, so maybe the All-Star break is happening at the perfect time.

"It's a bad taste. That's five straight," Peters said. "Tonight was going to go a long way to leaving a taste, so the taste is in the mouth for the All-Star break."

"We're obviously a little frustrated with our game as of late," Staal said. "There's no better time than now to hit the reset button and come back ready work against a divisional team right off the bat."

→ From Raleighwood to Hollywood, Justin Faulk is set to make the cross-country trek to Los Angeles for NHL All-Star Weekend festivities. The Hurricanes will then resume play on Tuesday, a Metropolitan Division match-up with direct playoff implications, as the Canes host the Philadelphia Flyers.

"It's been a tough stretch right now, and hopefully all of us can regroup and come back good to go," Faulk said.

"We'll get back to work in practice," Peters said. "Every area. Everything. It will be like starting over."

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