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The Carolina Hurricanes suffered another loss today, falling 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a shootout.
A notable lineup change came with Max Pacioretty being moved up to play with Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis, while Teuvo Teravainen was moved down to the fourth line. Dylan Coghlan also came into the lineup in place of Calvin de Haan, while Antti Raanta got the start.
The Hurricanes came out strong, outchancing the Blue Jackets in the first half of the opening frame and getting some great opportunities on an early power play. However, the Hurricanes couldn’t manage to convert and despite outshooting Columbus 13-7 in the first period, the game remained scoreless.
Carolina continued to press with some good chances early in the second frame, and even after a penalty to Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen managed to get free for a shorthanded breakaway, but couldn't beat Joonas Korpisalo. However, it was the Blue Jackets who opened the scoring on the same power play, as Kirill Marchenko took the puck in for an entry and went around the net to beat Raanta with a wraparound. Then after Svechnikov took another penalty soon after, Marchenko made the Hurricanes pay yet again, taking a pass all alone in front and just sneaking a shot through Raanta.
Carolina did get one back soon after though, as Max Pacioretty scored his first goal with the Hurricanes, just batting a puck off a defender and in to cut the lead in half. The Hurricanes then had some chances soon after, and on a power play later in the frame, Brady Skjei scored from a good spot to tie it up. Carolina wasn’t done there, and on another power play a little later, Max Pacioretty took a pass in front to bury his second goal of the period, putting the Hurricanes ahead 3-2 late in the frame.
In the third period though, Marchenko tied the game, just throwing the puck on net and managing to get it through Raanta yet again, on route to his first career hat trick. We saw a pretty quiet third frame overall though and after neither team could take the lead in the period, and then only one shot was registered in overtime, the game continued to a shootout.
There, Marchenko made a nice move to beat Raanta, while Brent Burns missed the net on his attempt. Patrik Laine then made a similar move, also beating Raanta on the glove side, and Carolina needed a goal to keep it going. However, Andrei Svechnikov did manage to convert to keep Carolina alive, and after Raanta stopped Johnny Gaudreau, Teuvo Teravainen snuck a shot through Joonas Korpisalo, tying the shootout after three rounds.
Gustav Nyquist then tried to beat Raanta to the glove side as well, but he was denied with a nice save, and Max Pacioretty had a chance to win it for Carolina, but he too was stopped. Kent Johnson made a great move to deke Raanta though, and the Hurricanes needed goal from Martin Necas, but he was stopped, and the Blue Jackets took the extra point.
For the second game in a row, the Hurricanes had more than double the shots of their opponent, but still couldn’t come away with a win. It’s a bit of a frustrating trend and after such a great stretch, Carolina has now dropped three games in a row.
The Hurricanes also just aren’t getting the goaltending they need. I don’t mean to blame losses directly on goaltending and I don't necessarily think it's that simple, but if you look at the one battle they’ve consistently been losing over the last few games, it’s been in net. Between Raanta and Kochetkov, their goalies are giving up weak goals every single game. Over their last four games, Carolina’s netminders have allowed 15 goals on just 100 shots total, managing just an .850 save percentage.
That said, it was good to see Max Pacioretty get on the board. Moving him up the lineup was inevitable, and he’ll add some size and scoring ability to his line.
Carolina also managed two power plays goals, which is a step in the right direction.
Regardless, it’s frustrating to drop a winnable game where the team played well against a weaker opponent. They’ll start to lose ground with the Metropolitan Division lead if they don’t turn things around quickly.
The Hurricanes will be back in action on Tuesday, when they face the New Jersey Devils yet again.
OTHER ARTICLES FROM JANUARY
Canes win first game of 2023, beat Devils in shootout to extend streak
Hurricanes’ 11-game winning streak snapped in loss to Rangers
Canes register 67 shots but lose to Predators in Max Pacioretty's debut