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Carolina Hurricanes rally in third but can't beat struggling Ottawa Senators

The (Raleigh) News & Observer logo The (Raleigh) News & Observer 12/3/2021 Chip Alexander, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

Dec. 3—The crowd at PNC Arena, nearly all Carolina Hurricanes fans Thursday, kept waiting for something good to happen, something that would bring the fans bolting out of their seats.

Teuvo Teravainen finally did it in the third period, scoring on the power play for his 100th career goal. Andrei Svechnikov did it again, banging in a rebound for a goal to tie the score. It as loud then.

But what began as a slip for the Canes now has become a skid. They could not beat the Ottawa Senators, losing 3-2 to a team that had lost six straight games and 10 of 11, a team that played Wednesday night in Ottawa and then made the long flight to Raleigh.

The Sens got two goals from forward Alex Formenton and the winning goal from Josh Norris, but it took a career-high 47 saves from goalie Anton Forsberg, who faltered a bit in the third, to hold off the Canes.

After Teravainen scored on the power play, taking a pass from Sebastian Aho and ripping a shot from the right circle, Svechnikov tied it 2-2 at 13:47, banging in a rebound. Ottawa coach D.J. Smith used his timeout at that point, trying to settle down his team and quiet the crowd.

Good decision. Norris scored at 14:06, getting a shot off in transition that goalie Antti Raanta stopped, only to have the puck knocked in by Canes defenseman Ian Cole.

"Just unfortunate bad luck," Raanta said.

For the Hurricanes (15-6-1), it was their third consecutive regulation loss and their fifth defeat in the past six games, including an overtime loss to San Jose.

"It's a tough time right now, just mentally, because nothing's going our way," Canes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "Let's just be frank, nothing is going our way.

"No one is going to feel sorry for you and we're not asking for that. The key is you've got to stay positive here. There's no point in feeling sorry for yourself. Keep working. To me, if you keep working things are going to work out. If we get that kind of effort, night in and night out, we're going to win a lot of games."

Consider that the Canes had 20 of their 49 shots in the opening period and the Senators had three. But Formenton scored the only goal of the period to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead.

Formenton's goal, at 2:43 of the first, came moments after Forsberg made a stop on a quick-hitting shot from Jesper Fast in front. Tyler Ennis chipped a pass off the boards and Formenton held off defenseman Brendan Smith and beat Raanta between the pads for his third of the season.

Formenton's second goal, at 9:05 of the third, also came after a bounce off a Hurricanes skate. Formenton, down on the ice in front of the Canes net, swiped at the puck, which hit Carolina's Martin Necas and past Raanta.

The referees conferred. The ruling: no goal by Ottawa because of goaltender interference. But the Senators used their coach's challenge. After review, the ruling was that Svechnikov caused Formenton to collide with Rannta — no interference, a good goal.

"The referee told me straight away our guy was at fault and pushed him in," Raanta said. "It was kind of 50-50. It is what it is and kind of sums up the whole game. Nothing really went our way."

Forsberg played three games for Carolina in 2019-20 season after goalies Petr Mrazek and James Reimer were injured in a game in Toronto that had emergency goalie David Ayres go in net for Carolina.

The Canes did all they could to pressure Forsberg, who entered the game with a 4.44 goals-against average and .883 save percentage in six games. Teravainen had eight shots and Svechnikov six, and the Canes scored their first power-play goal in eight games. But the chances were many and the goals too few against a Senators team that is 5-15-1.

"It's going to come," said Svechnikov, the Canes' best player Thursday. "We've just got to wait, wait, wait."

With three defensemen still in the COVID-19 protocol, the Canes again had Jalen Chatfield and Max Lajoie in the lineup — Lajoie facing the team that drafted him in 2016. Both were active, Chatfield jumping into plays to get a few scoring chances.

This story was originally published December 2, 2021 9:50 PM.

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