The loss on the scoreboard was bad enough for the Carolina Hurricanes. But after their 7-4 defeat at the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, their minds were centered on two potentially devastating losses to their lineup.
Center Jordan Staal and goalie Frederik Andersen both left the game with injuries. Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour didn't give an update on either player but remarked: "It doesn't look good. Tough night."
Staal took his last shift 8 minutes, 54 seconds into the third period, leaving the bench after absorbing a huge hit from Colorado defenseman Cale Makar. Staal had scored two goals in Denver, giving him six goals in his past six games.
Andersen exited with 4:31 remaining in the game, favoring his left leg after making a routine save. He was helped to the bench and then went straight to the back.
Both are key players for Carolina. Andersen has been among the league's best goaltenders, going 35-14-3 in 52 games with a .922 save percentage. Staal has 34 points in 74 games and is one of the team's key defensive players, as well.
Brind'Amour said the losses of Staal and Andersen were part of a miserable night for the Hurricanes.
"I didn't like the result," the coach said. "Then we get a couple of guys get hurt. That's really the major concern. It's not a good night for us. That's for sure."
The Hurricanes lost their second game in a row and their fifth in eight games. They're tied with the New York Rangers for first in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams have six games remaining.
"Never fun to watch your own teammate go down," said Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho. "We have a little adversity right now. We'll see what we're about right now. It hasn't gone our way lately. A couple very big players go down tonight.
"These are the moments that a team has to come together, come back even stronger. [I'm] 100 percent confident that's exactly what's going to happen."