The Carolina Hurricanes suffered a 4-0 loss at the hands of the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, March 11. Days after an underwhelming victory against the Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina couldn’t catch a break against Vegas goaltender Jonathan Quick.
“[Quick] has been a champ his whole career,” said head coach Rod Brind’Amour. “I know his numbers aren’t great this year, but he’s got that in him.”
The recent transfer stopped all 33 of the Canes’ shots on goal, putting a damper on a packed house at PNC Arena. Dispirited by Carolina’s underperformance and what seemed to be exceptionally bad play-calling, Canaics left the venue in droves after Vegas’ third and fourth goals.
Carolina played well in the opening frame despite taking a one-goal deficit into the first intermission. Vegas right wing Jonathan Marchessault struck first with a wrist shot past the left skate of Canes goaltender Frederik Andersen. The Hurricanes ended the first period with 15 shots on goal, five of which came from center Sebastian Aho. Despite the onslaught of shots, Carolina couldn’t get a single puck past Quick.
“I thought we had a really good first period, actually,” Brind’Amour said. “We just didn’t bury them, and they did. That’s what got us behind the eight ball.”
The second period was a bona fide snooze fest — the Canes simply couldn’t get anything going. Carolina managed only seven shots on goal during the second frame and were unsuccessful on their first and only power play of the evening. The Golden Knights were able to add another goal with less than three minutes remaining, giving Carolina a two-goal deficit to make up for heading into the third period.
Hurricanes fans hoping for a storybook comeback in the final period were sent home disappointed — Vegas tallied two more goals in the third, adding insult to injury. Carolina’s scoreless final 20 minutes of play ensured a clean sheet for Quick, who is undefeated since being shipped to Vegas at the trade deadline.
Tonight’s officiating was not well-received in PNC Arena, either. A series of questionable calls started with a seemingly unnecessary icing call in the first period, after which center Seth Jarvis looked visibly upset. At one point, chants of “Let’s go Canes” were replaced with “Ref, you suck.”
“We didn’t get the breaks, that’s for sure,” Brind’Amour said. “But that happens throughout the year. Obviously, that was a penalty on [Jarvis]. It happens. We didn’t get it tonight — that was clear from the get-go, it wasn’t gonna be our night.”
Right wing Jesse Puljujarvi made his Hurricanes debut tonight after Carolina acquired him from the Edmonton Oilers a little over a week ago. The Swedish-born Finn was received warmly — one fan made a sign that read “tervetuloa,” or “welcome” in Finnish.
“It was really fun to play the first game tonight,” Puljujarvi said. “Was not the result that we want, but I felt like [it] was a really tight game and we [had] good opportunities there. … Vegas played a really, really good game tonight.”
Puljujarvi meshes well with Aho, a fellow Finn — the two skaters played together on the Finland junior national team a few years ago. They played on the same line for a brief time during the second period after right wing Andrei Svechnikov limped to the locker room with an apparent leg injury.
Strutting their stuff 🔥 pic.twitter.com/bq5ZfLDjzN— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) March 11, 2023
The Canes have a tough schedule ahead, facing the likes of Toronto, New York, Boston and Tampa Bay before the end of the month. The Hurricanes have one short night's rest before returning to action in New Jersey tomorrow night. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. as Carolina looks to fend off an inner-conference contender.
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