RALEIGH — It’s been 80 years, but people still use the phrase “Play it again, Sam” even though it was never uttered in “Casablanca.”
It hasn’t been nearly as long that the Carolina Hurricanes have been mired in a run of dominating play and coming up short on the scoreboard as they did again Thursday in a 4-3 overtime loss to Dallas at PNC Arena. But coach Rod Brind’Amour has been asked the same questions about it enough lately that it feels like an eternity.
Play it, Rod.
“I don’t know if I’ve seen a better game in 20 years of being here,” Brind’Amour said. “As far as doing everything we wanted to do, we just didn’t get it in the net as much as we’d like.”
The Hurricanes twice scored to go ahead in the third period only to see the Stars respond within a minute to tie the game each time. And after killing off 35 seconds of a Dallas power play at the end of overtime, Carolina came away with just one point when Tyler Seguin scored the lone goal in the shootout in front of 16,421 in Raleigh.
“We lost the talent show at the end. That’s the end of that,” Brind’Amour said of the shootout.
It would be easy to call the Hurricanes hard-luck losers after journeyman Scott Wedgewood — making his first start in goal for the Stars after being acquired before the trade deadline — made 44 saves as Carolina outshot Dallas by an overwhelming 47-15 margin.
Easy, that is, if this hadn’t been the same old song as much of the past few weeks. The Hurricanes are now 5-4-3 in March and had 35 or more shots in nine of those games, including more than 40 in each of the last three.
“It’s tough. I feel like we do a lot of good things out there,” said Hurricanes forward Nino Niederreiter, who scored twice. “I feel like we dominated that game — a lot of chances and a lot of shots on net. Right now, we’ve just got to stay positive.”
Despite dominating in every way but on the scoreboard, the Hurricanes found themselves in a penalty deficit and not drawing a call until the third period. Carolina scored on that first chance when Niederreiter redirected a Brady Skjei feed past Wedgewood for his second goal of the night just past the midway point of the period to give the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead.
“We found each other pretty nice today,” Niederreiter said of he and Skjei connecting for two goals. “I told him we’ve got to keep doing that. Two terrific plays by him and I had a chance to finish it.”
But like earlier in the period when Vincent Trocheck scored at 2:43 to give Carolina its first lead only to see Roope Hintz tie it again exactly a minute later, Hintz matched Niederreiter with his second of the night by sneaking behind Seth Jarvis and backhanding a shot past Frederik Andersen (12 saves) 59 seconds after having fallen behind.
The Hurricanes continued to carry play after the Stars tied it, but Dallas still had the best chance to win it in regulation.
Mike Raffl got behind the Carolina defense and came in on a breakaway, but defenseman Tony DeAngelo caught put up to him to disrupt the chance. But DeAngelo — to his shock — was called for a penalty and Raffl was given a penalty shot.
But Andersen made a dazzling glove save on the backhanded attempt to keep the score knotted 3-3.
Carolina continued to have a lopsided advantage on shots in overtime, getting four on net to Dallas’ none, but Wedgewood made big stops on both Sebastian Aho and Martin Necas at 3-on-3 to keep the game going.
The Stars got their golden opportunity with 35 seconds left in overtime when Teuvo Teravainen was called for tripping, but Jaccob Slavin and Ian Cole both had key shot blocks to send the game to the shootout.
Seguin scored on Dallas’ first shootout attempt and that was all the Stars would need as Trocheck, Andrei Svechnikov and DeAngelo all failed on their chances.
“If we play like that, we’re going to win a lot of hockey games. We all know that,” Skjei said. “Obviously a tough result tonight, but we played well, we got a point and we’ll move on from this one and keep playing the same way.”
Notes: Carolina played most of the second period and the start of the third without Brett Pesce after he received 17 minutes in penalties at 3:46 of the second period. Pesce was elbowed by Vladislav Namestnikov and responded by dropping his gloves and pummeling the Dallas forward. Both received fighting majors — Pesce’s second of his career — while Namestnikov was tagged with an elbowing penalty and Pesce received a two-minute instigator and 10-minute misconduct. Pesce had just 16 PIMs on the season coming into the game. … Trocheck was called for abuse of officials/unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing with the refs after he did not draw a call in front of the Dallas net late in the second period. Carolina killed all three penalties in the game and Trocheck scored on one of the Hurricanes’ two power plays in the third period. … Max Domi, acquired Monday a minute before the 3 p.m. trade deadline, played 10:41 in his Hurricanes debut, finishing with one shot on goal and four hits.