(Raleigh) There are several things head coach Rod Brind’Amour likes about the way his Carolina Hurricanes have played since the start of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Still, the Hurricanes struggled with the sport’s most basic task: getting pucks into the net.
The North Carolina squad had just three goals on 103 shots against Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and are now trailing 2-0. She will visit the Panthers on Monday for Game 3.
“You have to be careful not to change everything and think that nothing is working,” Brind’Amour said Sunday. We’re going to make a few tweaks here and there, but we’re not going to change our style after we’ve gotten this far. »
The Hurricanes lost 3-2 in Game 1 of the series, the sixth-longest in NHL history after nearly four full overtimes. They then lost 2-1 in the opening minutes of the first overtime in the second game.
By the way, the Hurricanes have scored just one goal in nearly 158 minutes since Stefan Noesen hit the target in the third period of Game 1.
Their only goal scored in the second duel came from the stick of Jalen Chatfield, following a deflection. The Hurricanes then played a full game (60:08) without flashing the red light. By comparison, Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk has been more productive with two straight overtime goals.
“When you have a chance to score, you just want to have a quality shot and obviously it takes a really good shot to beat it,” forward Martin Necas said.
The Hurricanes finished the season with the second-best record in the NHL using aggressive forechecking to win loose pucks, maintain possession and generate scoring chances. They were able to do that at a few points in the series, most notably during the third period of Game 1.
The Hurricanes outshot the Panthers in each of the two games, but only converted 2.9% of their shots into goal. They also had their chances in overtime, as Seth Jarvis hit the crossbar in the first game and Jordan Staal was frustrated by Bobrovsky in the second game.
But getting close doesn’t count.
The Hurricanes were outscored 4-1 in goals with a numerical tie. This is the first time that injuries to forwards Max Pacioretty and Andrei Svechnikov have proven to be an obstacle for the team.
If things continue like this at Sunrise, the Hurricanes’ second stint in five seasons in the Eastern Finals could be as short as their sweep over the Boston Bruins in 2019.
“The effort was there,” center Sebastian Aho said. It’s not that we haven’t worked. I felt we had done enough to create more than a goal. We just have to keep finding ways to score goals. »