‘They were just quick’: Jets outskated by Hurricanes in 6-3 loss
WINNIPEG -- The Carolina Hurricanes have a reputation of being a quick team. Skating, moving the puck, scoring in bunches. You name it.
The Jets knew that was the case, but weren’t able to overcome that speed on Tuesday night, losing 6-3at Bell MTS Place.
“They were just quick,” said captain Blake Wheeler, whose pair of assists give him five points in the last two games. “Great sticks. We showed about 10 minutes of video of them with great sticks coming back and making it real tough to get up the ice. That’s what we saw. As much as it was a slow night for us, they were all over us.”
Lucas Wallmark opened the scoring for Carolina with 1:37 remaining in the first period, and then with :07 left on the clock, Jack Roslovic provided a nifty deflection on Nikolaj Ehlers’ shot to even things up at one goal a piece. Sebastian Aho would put the Hurricanes back in front 8:39 into the middle frame.
“Just got to be quick, got to be quicker than we were this game,” said Patrik Laine, whose 11th goal of the season tied the game at two. “I think we were just slowing down with the puck, that was our biggest issue tonight. They played a good game.”
Less than a minute after Laine’s tally, Andrei Svechnikov skated behind the net, flipped the puck onto his stick, and deposited it over the shoulder of Connor Hellebuyck for his second lacrosse-style, highlight reel goal of the season.
It was the first of three goals to end the second period for Carolina, that put the game out of reach.
“Good for him. He made a great play,” said Laine. “There was only one defender in front of the net, so if you want to go after him, then he’s probably going to pass it in front of the net, and then he’s going to have a good chance to score.”
In the seconds leading up that goal, Jets’ forward Adam Lowry was taken down by a sprawling Jordan Staal, a play the Jets feel should have been called a penalty.
“Well there’s one way to defend it,” said Wheeler of Svechnikov’s goal. “Unfortunately we didn’t have a guy there to do that. Give him a ton of credit, a little time and space behind the net. That’s a pretty sweet play.”
“It’s going to happen over 82 (games) where they miss one that’s real clean in front of him and it ends up in the back of your net,” said head coach Paul Maurice of the referee’s non-call. “We aren’t bragging about our game with that event missing.”
Aho netted the fourth goal for Carolina, before Staal made it a 5-2 game heading into the third. Connor Hellebuyck, who stopped 18 of the 23 shots he faced, was replaced by Laurent Brossoit in net to start the third.
“Five’s enough,” said Maurice on pulling Hellebuyck. “I didn’t think that it was going to be easier for him in the net in the third. If there was a spark for a comeback for us, it wasn’t going to be on our goaltender. We’ve got a bunch of games every second night here, and wanted to get Laurent some minutes that would open up the opportunity then for Connor playing a bunch of games ahead of us.”
Andrew Copp was held out of the game in the third period with an upper-body injury. His status will be updated on Wednesday morning. The Jets finish out their current three-game homestand on Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.