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First Round

Hurricanes not discouraged after Game 2 loss to Capitals

Head home looking for first win in Eastern series

by William Douglas @WDouglasNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Carolina Hurricanes head home down 2-0 to the Washington Capitals in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round but aren't dejected after a 4-3 overtime loss to the defending Stanley Cup champions at Capital One Arena on Saturday.

Coach Rod Brind'Amour said the Hurricanes have "got to find another gear" for Game 3 at PNC Arena on Monday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVAS, FS-CR, NBCSWA).

"Our top guys are not on the score sheet," Brind'Amour said. "... I feel pretty good that if we get those guys going, which they have all year, it'll give us a better chance to win, that's for sure. Because we're hanging around and I don't think we're playing our best hockey. So that's, I guess, somewhat positive."

 

[RELATED: Capitals take 2-0 series lead with OT win over Hurricanes in Game 2 | Complete Capitals vs. Hurricanes series coverage]

 

The Hurricanes haven't had a home playoff game since 2009, so the crowd in Raleigh, North Carolina should be energized, something Capitals coach Todd Reirden said could fuel Carolina.

"I have seen playoff hockey in that building and it's loud," Reirden said. "It's no fun to play in. It'll be a great challenge for us."

Forwards Sebastian Aho, who led the Hurricanes with 30 goals during the regular season, scored his first of the series at 16:49 of the second period, and Jordan Staal scored his first at 15:00 of the third. 

It was Aho's first goal since March 9 against the Nashville Predators (16 games).

"Oh yeah, it's not like we're playing bad, but this time of year you've got to get that extra step and play even better," Aho said. "OK is not OK, so just try to play our best." 

Defenseman Brooks Orpik, who scored the game-winning goal at 1:48 in overtime, acknowledged the Hurricanes' effort.

Video: Capitals strike in overtime to grab 2-0 series lead

"You've got to give them credit for what they're doing," Orpik said. "They're playing really hard and have a good game plan. They've got a lot of youthful energy over there, a lot of guys' first playoffs. It's actually easier to play when everybody counts you out."

The Hurricanes held the Capitals scoreless in four power-play chances, including on a five-minute match penalty on forward Micheal Ferland at 4:09 of the second period. The Capitals scored two power-play goals on four chances in Game 1.

"That gave us momentum, for sure," Hurricanes goalie Petr Mrazek said. "When you kill five minutes against teams like that, their power play is one of the best in the League, so a really fantastic job on the penalty kill today."

The Hurricanes came up short on their power play, going 1-for-5 Saturday, including not scoring on a 1:07, 5-on-3 advantage in the second period. They went 0-for-3 in Game 1.

"The only part I didn't like was the 5-on-3," Brind'Amour said. "That got stagnant again. It was only a minute that could have been the difference in the game if we'd been able to get one there."  

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