RALEIGH, N.C. – Winger Kris Versteeg described a 3-2 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild as frustrating.
While outshooting the Wild 39-21, highlighted by a strong opening period, the Carolina Hurricanes didn’t finish the job they started in front of a crowd of 9,511 at PNC Arena on Thursday.
Carolina peppered Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk with 19 shots, while Cam Ward faced only five during the opening period.
However, after taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, the Hurricanes lapsed in the second and allowed Minnesota to get back into the game.
“I didn’t think our second was nearly as good as the rest of the game,” Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters said.
“Our intensity and our effort in the second period denied us the opportunity to get two points.”
Justin Faulk and Andrej Nestrasil gave Carolina (6-9-1) its lead, while Ward worked to eventually make 19 saves, but still came up short in suffering his first career loss to the Wild (10-3-2).
Faulk’s sixth goal of the season, a power play marker at 4:26 into the game, added to his league lead in that category.
Nestrasil’s first of the season extended Carolina’s lead to 2-0 at the 8;17 mark.
On what appeared to be a good goal, the play was ruled as goaltender interference as Jay McClement was pushed into Dubnyk by Wild defenseman Matt Dumba as Nestrasil snapped the puck into the gaping net.
Peters challenged the call which went to video review and was subsequently overruled and put Carolina ahead by two.
Through the end of the first and into the second period, Jason Zucker and Thomas Vanek eventually tied it up for Minnesota and both teams skated into the intermission tied 2-2.
Carolina continued to hover around Dubnyk, particularly Jeff Skinner and Jordan Staal, who had seven and six shots on goal respectively, but each remained scoreless.
Skinner had chances that rung of the post or were denied by the netminder.
His frustration following one opportunity showed after skating to the bench and slamming the gate twice in succession.
Versteeg also went scoreless with two shots on net and four that missed, including one that could have been the game-winner on the power play in overtime.
“It’s frustrating when you couldn’t finish it the end because you like to be in those situations,” Versteeg said.
With the score still tied at the end of regulation, both teams skated into overtime with a point in their back pocket.
Skinner eventually drew a penalty as he danced around defenseman Ryan Suter and towards Dubnyk.
While the goalie made the save, the defenseman headed to the penalty box and gave Carolina the 4-on-3 advantage.
Skinner and Versteeg had multiple chances to score, but didn’t.
Dubnyk denied Skinner with a pad save.
Then Versteeg missed on a pass from Skinner off the left wing.
Dubnyk then stopped Victor Rask from the right faceoff dot and play continued towards the Carolina end.
Ward remained sharp as play headed into the final two minutes of the extra period as he stopped Zucker with both teams back to three players apiece.
Minnesota continued to carry its momentum into the latter minutes and found the opportunity to win as Zucker redirected Suter’s sliding shot that beat Ward through traffic.
“Every game we’ve lost this season, we pretty much gave it away, beside the Rangers game,” Versteeg said.
“We’ve just gotta keep with it.”
Peters also noted some sense of frustration and what he expected his players should do under the circumstances.
“I’d dig in,” Peters stated emphatically.
“If I was frustrated individually, I would dig in. I would do something about it.”