Carolina @ Vancouver preview
Last Meeting ( Jan 15, 2023 ) Vancouver 4, Carolina 3
The Carolina Hurricanes will try to snap a three-game losing streak when they continue their six-game road trip at Vancouver on Saturday night.
The road trip began with a 2-1 loss at Winnipeg on Monday despite outshooting the Jets 43-22, as Laurent Brossoit made a season-high 42 saves. But Carolina, which has the second-worst road record in the Metro Division (6-9-0) behind only the last-place Columbus Blue Jackets (2-8-3), followed that with a 6-1 clunker at Edmonton on Wednesday. The Hurricanes then lost 3-2 at Calgary on Thursday after blowing an early 2-0 lead.
Frustrated Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour, who during an in-game interview at Edmonton said he had "never seen a team play this brutal," didn't hold back after seeing his team allow three goals in the span of a little over six minutes midway through the third period at Calgary. Blake Coleman scored the game-winner with a short-handed goal.
"Just not good enough," Brind'Amour said. "We've got a lot of guys that aren't pulling their weight. It's plain and simple. You can read into that what you want but we're not going to win if we don't have 20 guys going. We have some guys working every night, contributing, doing what they do. But there's a lot of others that need to look in the mirror."
Carolina is tied for third in the Metro Division with the New York Islanders with 29 points, eight points behind the first-place New York Rangers. Last season, the Hurricanes won the division with 113 points, including a sparkling 24-11-6 road record.
Next up is a trip to Vancouver to face one of the surprise teams in the Western Conference, the Canucks, who are just four points behind the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights in the Pacific Division and lead the league with 103 goals scored. The Hurricanes also have games at Ottawa and Detroit before returning home on Dec. 15 against Nashville.
"We're fragile right now," Brind'Amour said. "There's no doubt. We've been kicked around a little bit. But the way we've played the last two games is not going to get it done. No one is going to feel sorry for us. We know we're a good team but we're not playing like that."
Vancouver, which comes in off a 2-0 shutout win over the visiting Minnesota Wild on Thursday, hasn't put together back-to-back wins since Nov. 12 (5-2 at Montreal) and Nov. 15 (4-3 in overtime against the Islanders). The Canucks have alternated wins and losses over their last 10 games.
Casey DeSmith, acquired in a trade with Montreal on Sept. 19, made 26 saves to pick up his first shutout of the season and snap Minnesota's four-game winning streak. It was the 10th career shutout for DeSmith, who became the first Vancouver backup goalie since Anders Nilsson on Oct. 24, 2017, against Minnesota to pick up a shutout.
Nils Hoglander and Teddy Blueger both scored goals for the Canucks, who won despite managing just 17 shots on goal, including three in the third period.
DeSmith, who improved to 5-2-1 this season, was making his first start since Nov. 25, after four consecutive starts by No. 1 Thatcher Demko.
"I've always kind of been somebody who can go on a long layoff and hop back in there and do my job," DeSmith said. "I take a lot of pride in that."
"What is it, two weeks since he played?" Vancouver coach Rick Tocchet said. "That's what Casey does. He's done that in his career where he's had inactivity. He was solid tonight for us."
--Field Level Media