The Carolina Hurricanes lost their third game in as many games since returning from the Olympic break as the Los Angeles Kings won 3-1 today.
With 55 seconds left in the first period, Mike Richards scored the first goal of the game when he slipped behind Ron Hainsey to the far right of the net. Richards received a pass then wristed the puck short side. Anton Khudobin should have had the save, but was not hugging the post.
The next goal came in the third period when Alec Martinez blasted a slapshot past Khudobin in the high slot on the powerplay. The goal came right after Khudobin made a strong save.
Justin Williams scored on an empty net with 1:01 left to ice the game for the Kings.
On Tuesday, the Hurricanes played strong enough to win, on Thursday, they deserved to lose. Today, the game could have gone either way, but the team has zero out of a possible six points this week and playoff hopes may have vanished in the process.
However, the Hurricanes actually played a decent game and if a few shots changed direction or if Quick didn’t make some of the special saves he made, this could have been a win.
But right now, it doesn’t matter. It’s another mark in the loss column and even more distance between the Canes and the postseason.
Some good news was the play of Elias Lindholm on the first line, who played an impressive game. He created chances for teammates, battled on the backcheck and looked like he belonged with the top trio.
Justin Faulk and Andrej Sekera had a much better game than against the Dallas Stars, while Mike Komisarek, playing in his first game since Feb. 8, looked bad. He was slow to react and took three penalties. After so much time between games, the slowness factor shouldn’t have been that surprising.
Anton Khudobin made some crucial saves, as he does most games, but that first goal is a killer. If he had made it, it’s possible the game would go into overtime and the Canes would have escaped with a point. But it’s a team sport and that happens. Other players have to step up to erase those mistakes.
The Carolina Hurricanes will have a chance to end their four-game losing streak tomorrow at 8 p.m. against the Anaheim Ducks.