After being nearly assured of at least a point, the Hurricanes lost the tie with a minute and a left to go and dropped the game, 3-1, after a wild final few attempts. Ethan Moreau scored an unassisted goal, coming innocently down the left wing and firing off a wrist shot. The Hurricanes thought they tied the score up after a scrum in front of Edmonton’s net, but the referee on the ice called no-goal and the video replay confirmed it. Moreau added an empty-netter and the fans filed out, wondering what had happened.
“I thought our defense and Wardo were awesome on that 5-on-3, and you try to gain momentum after that,” winger Patrick Eaves said. “It was just unfortunate.”
The Hurricanes finished scoreless on the power play again, and head coach Peter Laviolette vowed that the team would work on it in its upcoming practices.
“The players and the personnel that we’re using on the power play we feel are the right people, but we need to be better. We’re slowing it down too much, there’s not enough jump or puck movement.”
The presence of Cole on the ice could not be ignored, but Laviolette said that he and his team did their best to work for the two points instead of “watching Erik.”
“It goes by awfully quick after the puck drops,” Laviolette said. “If you start to watch other players and enjoy the game, then you lose the focus on what you’re doing on the ice, and it’s too difficult to play that way. We wish him well.”
The Hurricanes are now 1-2-0 at home. The team is back in action tomorrow at 5 p.m. against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs, expected to round out the bottom of the Eastern Conference for the third straight year, have been surprisingly good - at least, by their admittedly low standards - beating the Detroit Red Wings on the night of their Stanley Cup banner raising and sporting a 4-3-3 record. The team has no captain and a bit of a jumbled-up roster at the moment, but the game should be a good one nevertheless.