RALEIGH — The Carolina Hurricanes had 31 shots through two periods but no goals and a two-goal deficit to show for it against the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
Teuvo Teravainen rallied the Hurricanes with two third period goals, but Colorado defenseman Sam Girard capitalized on a Carolina mistake for the winning tally with 2:37 left to give the Avalanche a 3-2 win Friday in front of a sellout crowd of 18,680 at PNC Arena.
“I’m as frustrated as anybody that we didn’t get the points, but I like the effort of the group,” coach Rod Brind’Amour said of the Hurricanes, who fired 47 shots on goal. “We dug in. We got down and we really probably shouldn’t have been down, and then we dug out of it. Obviously, the mistake kills us at the end.”
After Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin lost his stick in the corner, Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog curled up the boards. Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov drifted to his left to defend Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon but left open Girard. Landeskog found Girard sneaking in from the point with a cross-ice pass and the 21-year-old beat goalie Anton Forsberg (29 saves) high for the winning goal.
After Girard’s goal, Carolina pulled Forsberg for an extra attacker and had a chance to tie it with 100 seconds left, but Slavin’s punch chance at the left circle went high.
“We play that for 60 minutes, there’s no way we won’t come out with two points in a game,” said defenseman Brady Skjei, who got his first point in his second game with Carolina with an assist on Teravainen’s first goal. “So you can definitely build off that and be ready to go tomorrow night in Montreal.”
The first 40 minutes were in no way a disaster — except on the scoreboard, where Colorado led 2-0.
The Avalanche opened the scoring with a goal by Tyson Jost.
Carolina defenseman Jake Gardiner couldn’t handle a bouncing puck in the neutral zone and lost his balance, allowing Jost to score his first goal in 36 games on a 2 on 1 at 6:34 of the first.
Colorado doubled its lead in the second, benefiting from another turnover and more Jost.
Svechnikov failed to clear the puck up the boards, and Avalanche rookie defenseman Cale Makar found Jost alone in front for his second goal of the night and a 2-0 lead just past the game’s midway point.
With both Columbus and the Rangers — the two teams playing Friday that are jockeying with the Hurricanes for playoff position — headed to losses, Carolina came out for the third ready to take advantage.
“There was something said that got the guys going for sure,” Skjei said of the talk in the locker room at the second intermission.
The Hurricanes got the bounce they seemed to have been missing — both Jordan Martinook and Svechnikov had hit posts earlier in the game — to get on the scoreboard.
Skjei made a keep at the Colorado blue line and tapped the puck to Sebastian Aho. Aho cruised through the center of the ice and fed Teravainen wide on the right wing. Pavel Francouz (45 saves) got a piece of the shot, but it fluttered in the air and hit the stick of defenseman Ian Cole — who was battling Svechnikov in front — and rolled in the net at 5:54 of the third.
Then just over two minutes later, Slavin sprung Teravainen up the left wing and he beat Francouz between the legs to tie the score at 7:55.
“I never really try to go five hole, so I tried to go five hole this time,” Teravainen said of his shot, which clearly fooled the Colorado goalie who was cheating to the short side with his glove.
Despite the rally, the late-game mistake cost the Hurricanes at least a point in the standings and kept them at 74 points — two behind Columbus for the second wild card but with three games in hand.
“They came out in that third and we got us right back in the game and gave us a chance to win, really,” Brind’Amour said. “We had a couple good looks even to win the game. But you’ve got to find a way to get it done.
“There’s a lot of tough lessons going on in here right now.”
Notes: Carolina defenseman Joel Edmundson matched a career-high with five shots on goal. He had done it six times previously, including once this season with the Hurricanes. … Forsberg made several good stops, particularly in traffic on the penalty kill, in his first action with the Hurricanes. He last played an NHL game on March 26, 2018, with Chicago. … Carolina won 44 of 71 faceoffs, including 42 of 63 combined by Aho (17 of 25), Vincent Trocheck (13 of 21) and Jordan Staal (12 of 17). … Aho’s two assists extended his point streak to 14 games. … Svechnikov’s point streak ended at 11 games. … Carolina’s 47 shots matched a season-high (twice previously) and marked the 16th time this season the Hurricanes had 40 shots on goal.