The Kings Spoil Williams' Hall of Fame Day as the Hurricanes Fall 5-2 to Los Angeles

The Canes conceded three goals early in the third period and weren't able to overcome the deficit as Martinook and Drury found the back of the net.
Los Angeles Kings v Carolina Hurricanes
Los Angeles Kings v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

The Carolina Hurricanes honored one of the greats before Monday afternoon's game against the Los Angeles Kings as Justin Williams became the fifth player inducted into the Hurricanes Hall of Fame. With the team riding high following Saturday's overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Canes were looking to find some of the magic that made Williams such an incredible Hurricane.

The lineup remained the same for the Hurricanes as Martin Necas missed his fifth straight game with an upper-body injury. Antti Raanta got the call for his second start in a row after a brilliant performance against the Penguins. For the Kings, who came into this game with eight straight losses, David Rittich got the start for the first half of Los Angeles' back-to-back as they decided to save All-Star Cam Talbot for their game in Dallas.

With the emotion of the afternoon, you would think the Canes would have an extra pep in their step to start the game. Instead, it was the Kings who drew first blood. After killing an early penalty, Trevor Moore was open on the doorstep to put home a rebound to get the Kings on the board. Antti Raanta made a save with his mask right before the goal. This would be the only tally of the period as the two goalies battled some tough chances through 20 minutes.

The Canes came out firing to start the second period. At one point, they hemmed the Kings in their defensive zone for a few minutes. Andreas Englund was on the ice for over three minutes at one point. Eventually, they did enough to find the back of the net. Brent Burns made an excellent stretch pass to Seth Jarvis, who sauced one to Jordan Martinook for the one-timer. Martinook picked up his third goal in as many games to get the Canes back into it. The Kings pushed back throughout the period, but Antti Raanta was ready to kick everything out as the game went into the third period tied 1-1.

Carolina was tasked with killing the remainder of a late-period trip from Jesperi Kotkaniemi, which they did. That's about when the game opened up. First, Phillip Danault got his stick on a puck coming off the boards to chip it into the net 61 seconds into the frame. Then, Alex Laferriere rang the iron with a wicked shot from the right dot that beat Antti Raanta over his glove 70 seconds later. Lastly, Pierre-Luc Dubois buried a one-timer from about where Laferriere scored to give the Kings three goals in 4:19.

As the Kings' lead expanded, Rod Brind'Amour decided to give Yaniv Perets his first action in the NHL. The team responded by getting one back for him. Stefan Noesen and Jack Drury's chemistry has been on display all season, and it was again on this goal. Noesen put a beautiful pass from below the goal line on Drury's stick, and he got just enough on his backhander to squeak through David Rittich to pull within two goals. This was as close as the Canes would get. Perets would be credited with his first NHL save, denying Pierre-Luc Dubois, but Trevor Moore scored into the empty net as the Kings rained on the Canes' parade with a 5-2 win.

Before talking about the game, I should note how awesome the pregame ceremony for Justin Williams was. Tripp Tracy did an excellent job emceeing the proceedings. The video package the team put together was extraordinary. Williams' speech didn't leave a dry eye in the arena. It was also classy for the Kings, with whom Williams won two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014, to be on the bench for the ceremony. It was a moment befitting of someone who embodies the best qualities of a Hurricane.

As for what followed, things weren't looking bad for 40 minutes. Both teams were getting great chances, and both goalies were doing their thing. The third period was the entire difference. The Kings took advantage of every small mistake the Canes made. While the goal from Danault was a tough break, the next two were the result of two failed clearing attempts. It's hard to fault Antti Raanta for anything that happened in the first 5:20 of the period. He was left out to dry.

After being held off the board for the first time in eight games against Pittsburgh, the power play had another lousy showing in this loss. They finished the game 0-for-5, coming up empty in some critical spots. They had two chances in the third period, which yielded nothing. The top unit was especially rough. The connection that had been there for most of December and January disappeared.

That's not to say it was all bad for the Hurricanes. Both goals featured beautiful passes and finishes. The penalty kill went 4-for-4, surviving a few early scares in the first period. Antti Raanta played a strong 40 minutes before the collapse in the third period. We got to see a debut as Yaniv Perets can now officially say he played in the NHL. He also made a huge stop at a point when it looked like the Canes were building some momentum for a comeback.

The Canes will get another break between games. This time, they'll have to wait three days before suiting back up as they return to action on Friday night against the Detroit Red Wings. They'll close their homestand on Sunday night with the Minnesota Wild in town. This will take them into the final week before the All-Star break when they'll face Boston, New Jersey, and Arizona before Sebastian Aho heads to Toronto.