EDMONTON, ALBERTA – The Carolina Hurricanes let another game slip away and lost 6-3 to the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Friday.
Riley Nash, Jeff Skinner and Jay Harrison all scored goals for Carolina while goaltender Anton Khudobin made 23 saves in the losing effort.
With the loss, the second in as many nights, the Hurricanes were denied another opportunity to earn their first win of the season, and extended the franchise’s longest winless streak to begin a season, sitting at 0-5-2.
Following a 5-0 loss to Calgary on Thursday, Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters indicated that he thought his team’s effort was better against Edmonton.
“The effort was fine,” said.
“I thought we competed hard – we did good things…Much better than last night obviously. We came unglued a little bit when we got behind in Calgary. Tonight, I thought we showed a bit more composure and some good things we can build off of.”
Following a scoreless opening period, both teams lit the lamp during the second, trading goals back and forth to sit deadlocked 2-2 after 40 minutes.
Following Jordan Eberle’s goal that put Edmonton (3-4-1) ahead 1-0, Nash tipped in Justin Faulk’s point shot at 15:08 to even the score.
The Oilers answered back quickly and gained the advantage again with a goal from Jesse Joensuu at 16:46 before Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner scored his first goal of the season to tie the score again, just 72 seconds later.
Outshooting Edmonton 25-19 up to that point, Carolina sought to take its first lead in the third period, but a turnover in its own zone on the penalty kill proved costly early on.
As Hurricanes defenseman Brett Bellemore attempted to clear the puck away, a stick check to his hands from Edmonton’s Benoit Pouliot caused him to fan on the attempt and fall to the ice while Eberle picked it up and beat Khudobin in close to score his second, a power play goal, that put Edmonton ahead 3-2.
Just over three minutes later, Harrison scored his first of the season when he pinched in on the blue line following a Jay McClement wraparound attempt that drifted from the Oilers net towards him.
The defenseman placed a quick wrist shot back towards the goal through traffic and beat keeper Ben Scrivens to tie the score for a third time, 3-3, at the 7:50 mark of the period.
The Oilers then assumed control for the remainder of the game, outshooting the Hurricanes 10-5 in the period while scoring three goals in just under six minutes to earn their third win in as many games.
Edmonton took advantage of various Carolina defensive coverage and clearing miscues which resulted in Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins goals that pushed the Oilers lead to 5-3 before Matt Hendricks’ empty-netter completed the game’s scoring with 1:27 remaining.
Even though its defensive play didn’t fully support the effort to earn a win, according to Peters, Carolina’s offensive work needed to show more results from its top six – more than Skinner’s lone goal.
“We need our top six guys that are currently our top six guys to be on the score sheet,” Peter said.
“I thought Sems was dangerous, got some good looks. I didn’t mind that line tonight. Then obviously to get Skinny on the score sheet was important.”
Still playing without captain Eric Staal, Jordan Staal, Nathan Gerbe, and Patrick Dwyer up front, and without defensemen John-Michael Liles and Ryan Murphy, Carolina travels farther West for its final game of its current road trip to face the Vancouver Canucks.
“More time for guys to heal, so it’ll be good,” Peters concluded.
“It’ll be two good practices in there and get ready for Tuesday night. Gotta’ move forward.”