RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Frustrated. That’s the general consensus inside the Carolina Hurricanes locker room at the moment after giving up yet another 2-0 lead in a Stanley Cup Playoff Series.
“They want to win and they’re playing hard,” Rod Brind’Amour said. “It’s not a lack of effort but we’ve got to execute a little better on that in those situations. We had some chances last night and we have to bear down.”
The Hurricanes currently find themselves tied at two games a piece with the New York Rangers entering game five, the exact same situation they were in against Boston a series ago.
“It’s a best of three series now,” Brett Pesce said. “We’ve been in this position before and we should have the confidence to hopefully pull it out.”
Confidence aside there is reason to be concerned with Carolina’s legitimacy as Cup Contenders. Through the first 11 games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs the Hurricanes are undefeated at home (6-0) and without a win on the road (0-5). They are the only remaining team to hold such records.
“We’re playing good teams,” Brind’Amour said. “The games are all tight, they’re all close. It’s a bounce here or there. We just didn’t get them on the road. I actually think we’ve played pretty well on the road in actuality, it’s just we have to find a way to get a win.”
Igor Shesterkin is making that more challenging. In three of the first four games of this season Shesterkin has allowed just one goal, giving up just four in total on 122 shots. That’s world-class caliber goaltending that’s kept Carolina’s offense at bay.
There’s also the ongoing issue of Carolina’s Power Play. The Canes entered game four 0-for-7 on the power play and finished the night 0-for-2. They’re now just 11.6% on the man advantage this postseason.
“At the end of the day we want to score on our Power Play just like they are on theirs,” Brind’Amour said. “That makes a big difference if we can connect on that. In the last two games we did hit two posts on the Power Play…we’re there, they just have to go in. They go in and that changes the dynamic of the game.”
Ian Cole dubbed Game Four a must-win for the Carolina Hurricanes. Instead, they lost. With game five on the horizon and the series shifting back to New York for game six, Thursday’s game has the feel of a series decider.