DENVER, COLO. – The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t catch up and finished with another road loss, a 4-2 decision to the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Friday.
Forward Drayson Bowman and defenseman Andrej Sekera both scored their first goals of the season for the Hurricanes while goaltender Justin Peters stopped 25 shots, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the National Hockey League’s (NHL) top team.
Carolina’s injury woes continued on the latter part of completing their four-game road trip as forwards Jeff Skinner and Patrick Dwyer did not play against the Avalanche, while defenseman Tim Gleason and forward Elias Lindholm returned to the lineup.
While Gleason came off the injured reserve (IR) list to play in his first regular season game, his spot on IR was immediately replaced with fellow blueliner Brett Bellemore who had sustained a lower-body injury during the team’s 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild the previous night.
Trailing 2-0 after the first period, Bowman tallied Carolina’s first goal of the game just 12 seconds into the second period while getting help on the play from Jordan Staal and Sekera.
Falling behind early in a game once again forced the Hurricanes to try to reach deep down to come back but Colorado made it hard for that to happen as two more goals extended the Avalanche lead to 4-1 with 19:24 remaining in the third period.
With ample time and Sekera’s goal coming just over two minutes later, Carolina couldn’t penetrate the Avalanche defense and goaltender Semyon Varlamov for any more goals, even while outshooting Colorado 16-8 throughout the final period.
“You’re not gonna’ win hockey games on a consistent basis in this league if you don’t have a good first period,” Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller said.
“It’s the old saying – catch-up hockey is usually losing hockey. Basically we gotta’ have a better first. We’re stronger in the second and third, but we gotta’ find a way to be better in the first period.”