The Carolina Hurricanes lost for the first time this season on Saturday, yet they return from their three-game road trip bristling with confidence.
So now it’s time to see what happens next as the Hurricanes meet the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night in Raleigh, N.C.
Carolina has shown the knack for a recovery.
“We knew we needed a bounce-back game,” Hurricanes defenseman Brady Skjei said. And they got it.
Carolina won its first nine games before losing 5-2 Saturday at Florida. Tuesday night, they secured a 2-1 overtime victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team that eliminated the Hurricanes from the playoffs last spring.
“Now (we’ll) focus on the next one,” Hurricanes forward Martin Necas said.
Also while on the trip, the Hurricanes were forced to call up Alex Lyon after backup goalie Antti Raanta suffered an unspecified injury.
Through it all, goalie Frederik Andersen has set a high standard for Carolina. He has posted nine victories this season.
“The goalie situation we’re in right now is a little precarious, for sure,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
The Flyers also have been strong across the first month of the season. However, they hit a rough spot when a three-game points streak ended in Wednesday night’s 3-0 loss to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.
“We’ll be better next game,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said.
Prior to the loss, Philadelphia had allowed just three goals in regulation across its previous three games. And that’s good, because Vigneault acknowledged that the Flyers haven’t jelled on offense recently.
“We’ll take the time to analyze a few things,” he said. “I’d like us to be a little quicker getting the pucks to the net. … But for the most part, we’re generating some good looks 5-on-5.”
In-game changes were made on Philadelphia’s power play Wednesday. More adjustments on special teams could be implemented by Friday, Vigneault said.
“We’re getting some shots, but maybe not enough quality shots,” forward Sean Couturier said.
The Hurricanes know it’s imperative to keep the mindset that propelled them to such a strong start to the season.
“That’s kind of our bread and butter, to be aggressive,” Skjei said.
While Carolina’s lineup has been stable, injuries are beginning to impact the roster makeup. Right winger Nino Niederreiter and defenseman Brett Pesce have missed recent games.
The contest with Philadelphia and Saturday’s game vs. the St. Louis Blue will be Carolina’s only home outings during the first 27 days of November.
The Flyers also play back-to-back, staying on the road Saturday night at Dallas.
“It’s going to be a tight schedule and you just have to be ready every day and do the work and hopefully the payoff is at the end of the year,” Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom said.
–Field Level Media