The Hurricanes made some personnel changes on the bench and on the ice over the summer. There are a lot of new guys, but the result of the opening night game was pretty much the same as a lot of games from the last two seasons. They worked hard and looked great in the first period. They lost the edge in the second, and then they just got outworked in the third. Penalties, poor special teams play and lack of focus all added up, and the sum was a 5-1 loss at the hands of Tampa.
Jeff Skinner scored the Canes’ only goal at 8:07 of the first and was really the best thing the Canes had. He and defenseman Joni Pitkanen were good. Justin Faulk was good. Everyone else was either invisible or was noticed for the wrong reasons.
After Martin St. Louis tied the game early in the second, the Canes still had plenty of chances to pull ahead in the middle frame. Late in the period, when it looked like it would be a great game, the wheels fell off for Carolina.
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