Canes re­cover to earn point in over­time loss to Coyotes

The News & Observer (Sunday) - - Sports - BY CHIP ALEXAN­DER calexan­der@new­sob­server.com

The Carolina Hur­ri­canes were dead in the desert. Or so it seemed.. Trail­ing 3-0 after a mis­er­able first pe­riod Fri­day against the Ari­zona Coyotes, the Canes re­grouped to earn a tie in reg­u­la­tion and force over­time. They didn’t win the road game, Michael Grab­ner scor­ing for the Coyotes in over­time for a 4-3 vic­tory, but pulled out a point at Gila River Arena.

The Canes’ Se­bas­tian Aho fin­ished the game with­out a point or as­sist for the first time this sea­son. The cen­ter’s 12-game point streak to start the sea­son was a fran­chise record, and as­sists in each of the first 12 games had tied an NHL record held by Wayne Gret­zky and Ken Lin­se­man.

The first pe­riod ar­guably was the worst of the sea­son for the Canes (6-5-2). It would be easy to blame the cross-coun­try flight on Thurs­day for some of the slug­gish­ness, but the Canes again were un­done by some hor­ri­ble spe­cial teams play.

Brad Richard­son scored short­handed for the Coyotes, who have a NHLhigh seven short­ies this sea­son. Bren­dan Per­lini scored on the power play, which had been a weak­ness for Ari­zona. Nick Cousins added an even­strength score – the three goals com­ing in a span of 3:45 – and Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour had some de­ci­sions to make.

Brind’Amour stuck with goalie Petr Mrazek but shook up his lines, re­plac­ing Teuvo Ter­a­vainen with An­drei Svech­nikov on Aho’s line and mov­ing Brock McGinn to Jor­dan Staal’s line, re­plac­ing War­ren Foegele.

Jor­dan Marti­nook, play­ing against his for­mer team, got the Canes on the board in the sec­ond when Justin Faulk’s shot in tight glanced off Marti­nook’s skate and past goalie Antti Raanta. It was 3-1 after two and the Canes kept push­ing in the third.

Svech­nikov scored his third of the sea­son and Staal his fifth to tie the score. The Canes had a late power play but couldn’t take the lead.

“We’ve got to be ready to start that game and can’t give our­selves that hole we have to dig out of,” Marti­nook said. “On the other side of it, it just shows the at­ti­tude in this room. We just won’t quit and just fight un­til that very last sec­ond, and ob­vi­ously, one point is huge.”

In over­time, Canes de­fense­man Brett Pesce nearly ended it with a back­han­der that Raanta fought off be­fore Grab­ner beat Ter­a­vainen down the ice to knock in a pass from Clay­ton Keller to win it at 1:12 of over­time.

“I felt like we ac­tu­ally came out OK in the first five or six min­utes and then ob­vi­ously the short­handed goal, just un­ac­cept­able,” Brind’Amour said. “It just put us on our heels and we just didn’t re­cover in the first.

“Then we had a lit­tle wake-up call be­tween pe­ri­ods and ob­vi­ously we got to our game and their goalie made some in­cred­i­ble saves. I give our guys credit that even then, we just kept go­ing and ac­tu­ally had a pretty good chance in over­time to win it. It was a pretty good 50-minute ef­fort. Un­for­tu­nately, we know we need to play the whole game.”

The Canes fin­ished off a back-to-back Satur­day against the Ve­gas Golden Knights, and Brind’Amour said he doubted he would re­vert back to the lines he stuck with much of the first 12 games.

“It was time to shake it up and again, I give the guys credit for at least an­swer­ing the bell after they had been knocked out,” he said.

RICK SCUTERI AP

Carolina Hur­ri­canes cen­ter Se­bas­tian Aho (20) and Ari­zona Coyotes de­fense­man Oliver Ek­man-Lars­son bat­tle for the puck in the sec­ond pe­riod Fri­day in Glendale, Ariz.

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