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Five takeaways from the Carolina Hurricanes’ loss to the Seattle Kraken

Seattle Kraken center Marcus Johansson (90) moves the puck near Carolina Hurricanes right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Seattle Kraken center Marcus Johansson (90) moves the puck near Carolina Hurricanes right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

AP

Five takeaways from the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2-1 loss Wednesday to the Seattle Kraken, their second consecutive defeat after starting the road trip with three wins:

— Goaltender Frederik Andersen has left a lot of teams frustrated this season in stealing some games for the Canes (14-3-1). On Wednesday it was Andersen’s turn to be disappointed as Philipp Grubauer of the Kraken stole one.

Grubauer had 35 stops, which will improve the .882 save percentage he had before Wednesday. He gave up one goal, to defenseman Brendan Smith in the first period, which will improve the 3.18 goals-against average he had before Wednesday.

“Their goalie was unbelievable,” Canes forward Andrei Svechnikov said.

— It happened quickly in the third period. The Canes had the puck in the offensive zone and Svechnikov, perhaps the Canes’ most active forward Wednesday, was jostling with defenseman Vince Dunn behind the Kraken net when …

The gloves came off and Svechnikov began throwing some big punches. Bam, bam, bam. Svechnikov was called for a fighting major and roughing at 10 minutes of the third, spending a lot of time in the penalty box as the Kraken, urged on by the home crowd, won on Marcus Johansson’s goal with 3:08 left in regulation.

“It was just one of those moments,” Svechnikov said. “Obviously it happens fast and I’m not a fighter. I’ve got to be on the ice and helping my team win games. Probably I shouldn’t do that.”

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Fans cheer as Carolina Hurricanes right wing Andrei Svechnikov (37) fights with Seattle Kraken defenseman Vince Dunn (29) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Seattle. The Kraken won 2-1. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) Ted S. Warren AP

— Call it the price of success, of their sizzling early season run and being called potential Stanley Cup contenders, but the Canes aren’t getting into any easy games. Nor are the goals coming easily.

“We get everybody’s best game,” Canes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “We haven’t played one game this year where the other team was bad. Not one game where they were a little off. We’re getting their best. That’s a change from years gone by, I can tell you that. But that’s part of it.”

While the Canes managed 36 shots, the Kraken clogged the lanes well enough to block 20 attempts. That came after San Jose did the same.

“Teams are selling out to make blocks and they’re really competing,” defenseman Brendan Smith said. “We’re going to get a team’s best but we want it that way. When it comes to the playoffs we’ll be prepared for that.”

— After a combined 43 shots in their previous two games, the Canes’ lines were jumbled by Brind’Amour for Wednesday’s game. The top line had Jordan Martinook playing with Sebastian Aho and Seth Jarvis, and Steven Lorentz was back in the lineup and used on Vincent Trocheck’s line with Teuvo Teravainen. Enough said?

“It’s frustrating because we’re not scoring,” Brind’Amour said. “Early in the year we were getting a lot of bounces our way and now we’re not. We’ve got to fight through it.

“I don’t know what else you could do. We just didn’t score. We did everything we should do. We just didn’t capitalize. We didn’t give up a heck of a lot but just couldn’t find a way to get another goal.”

Svechnikov has been held without a goal for 11 consecutive games. So has Jordan Staal.

— One of the most over-used lines in hockey is “good-looking power play,” which is not always a successful, scoring power play and wasn’t for the Canes on Wednesday.

After the Kraken scored on a second-period power play, Jared McCann ripping a shot past Andersen, the Canes had their first chance when former Canes forward Morgan Geekie was called for hooking. Carolina moved the puck crisply, had four shots on goal and had three attempts miss the net — and came away empty. Nor did they score on an early third-period power play.

Bottom line: the Canes have gone scoreless on the power play the past four games, good-looking or not.

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.



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