Updated January 25, 2022 - 9:09 pm
Trying to rally during the third period against the NHL’s best defense on the second of back-to-back games was a daunting task for the Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Captain Mark Stone recognized the difficulty of the situation.
“We could have folded the tent and just accepted defeat,” Stone said. “But it was a good comeback by us.”
Facing their second two-goal deficit of the night, the Knights battled back for a point before losing 4-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes in overtime at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Sebastian Aho scored the second of his two goals with 1:11 remaining in overtime for Carolina, which led 2-0 in the second period and 3-1 in the third before the Knights rallied.
Defenseman Nic Hague beat Carolina goalie Frederik Andersen from the top of the slot for the tying goal with 2:30 left after Brett Howden was credited with his fifth goal with 6:52 remaining to cut the Hurricanes lead to 3-2.
The Knights saw their franchise-record, seven-game road winning streak snapped but have snagged three of four points on this difficult road trip.
Aho scored a power-play goal in the third to put the Hurricanes ahead 3-1 after the Knights were unable to capitalize on two opportunities to tie the game. Nino Niederreiter and Vincent Trocheck scored 57 seconds apart in the second period to give the Hurricanes a 2-0 advantage.
“Over a long season, it’s important you find a way to get points in games like this,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “Maybe you don’t deserve a point, but we hung around, our goalie was really good, we were opportunistic and got an important point in a tough situation.”
Here are three takeaways from the game:
1. Patrick drives offense
Nolan Patrick has found a home on the Knights’ fourth line.
The No. 2 pick in the 2017 draft finished with two points and cut the deficit to 2-1 at 18:15 of the second when he dragged the puck between his skates and sent a backhand past Andersen.
“Big-time goal. Big-time skill,” DeBoer said.
Patrick had a handful of chances Monday at Washington and is growing more comfortable alongside Howden, who crashed into Andersen moments before the goal.
Carolina challenged for goaltender interference, but officials ruled that Hurricanes defenseman Ian Cole caused Howden to make contact with Andersen. The Knights have won all five challenges they’ve been involved in this season.
“He said right when he got to the bench that he thought he was tripped into the goalie and thought we were good,” Patrick said. “Lucky enough we were.”
2. Two more additions
Stone was cleared from COVID protocol after missing the past two games and arrived in North Carolina around 5 p.m. Monday while the team played in Washington.
He finished with no shot attempts in 19:16 and was on the ice for the Hurricanes’ second goal.
“It was definitely not an ideal situation,” Stone said. “But (I) felt all right and hopefully be better Thursday night in Florida.”
The Knights also welcomed back defenseman Zach Whitecloud (back) from a two-game absence. He logged 22:42 of ice time, second on the team behind Shea Theodore (26:38).
3. Brossoit is back
Goalie Laurent Brossoit made his first start since he sustained an upper-body injury against Winnipeg on Jan. 2 and finished with 26 stops.
He came up with a glove save against Martin Necas early in the first period and had help from the post on Andrei Svechnikov’s power-play look midway through the period.
Brossoit also had a key stop against Aho on a breakaway early in the third period during four-on-four action to keep the Knights within one goal.
“We talked going into this trip about the importance of how they’re going to have to weather the storm for us at different moments on this trip with the teams we’re playing in some of these buildings,” DeBoer said of his goaltenders. “And both guys have given us a chance both nights.”