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

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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.

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 another from Josh Norris, and 47 saves from goalie Anton Forsberg, who faltered a bit in the third but earned his second victory of the season.

Svechnikov, the Canes’ best player this night, tied the score 2-2 at 13:47 of the third. Ottawa coach D.J. Smith used his timeout, trying to settle down his team.

Good call. Norris scored at 14:06, getting the puck past goalie Antti Raanta to push the Senators ahead again.

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.

Hockey players struggling to score like to say their gripping their sticks too tight. Canes captain Jordan Staal, who has not scored in the past 15 games, said his stick was becoming a “twig” and he’s not the only one on a team that has plenty of skill but can’t find the back of the net.

Consider that the Canes had 20 of their 49 shots in the opening period and the Senators three. Advantage, Hurricanes? It would seem that way had Formenton not 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. The Senators raced down ice, Tyler Ennis chipped a pass off the boards and Formenton beat Raanta between the pads for his third of the season.

Formenton’s second goal, at 9:05 of the third, came after some on-ice confusion. Formenton, down on the ice in front of the Canes net in front of Raanta, swiped at the puck, which bounced off the skate of Carolina’s Martin Necas and past Raanta.

The referees conferred. The ruling: no goal by Ottawa because of goaltender interference. But the Senators challenged the decision. After review, the ruling was no goalie interference and a good goal.

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 put the puck past Forsberg, who entered the game with a 4.44 goals-against average and .883 save percentage in six games. They had three power plays in the first two periods. They were the better team five-on-five. They tested Forsberg with tips and redirections.

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.

The Senators were beaten 6-2 by the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday and had been outscored 31-12 and shut out twice in their six-game losing streak before Thursday.

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