Despite giving up a goal before the game's first line change, the Canes were able to storm back from a two-goal deficit and win the game 3-2 on Monday night.
Just :14 into the game, rookie Patrick Eaves found a loose puck in front and jammed it home. This is something I've seen a number of times before. During an early-season slump in 2002-03 the Canes allowed first minute goals in several games. Fortunately, things worked out tonight.
Only two minutes later, Jason Spezza put a really soft one through Martin Gerber's legs to make it 2-0. Dany Heatley and Wade Redden picked up helpers on the goal.
However, Gerber would not be shaken. He turned aside the remaining 44 shots including a bunch in a furious sequence late in the third.
The Canes got on the board 7:38 into the second stanza with a beautiful backhander by Eric Staal on a perfectly executed power play. His sixth goal of the season was assisted by Rod Brind'Amour and Justin Williams.
Three and a half minutes later, Matt Cullen tied it with a shot from the slot. The goal was sweetly set up by Ray Whitney, who now has three points in two games.
Frantisek Kaberle took advantage of a turnover 2:43 into the third by blasting one from the point through a double screen, off the post and in. It looked to me like it was redirected by Vasicek, but no correction was made.
The next 17:17 was tense, but Gerber slammed the door. The Canes remain undefeated at the RBC Center.
Andrew Hutchinson was a healthy scratch and is stuck on zero points.
Keys to the game?
1. Stay out of penalty trouble -- Check. The Canes were shorthanded six times, and killed five of them, including a five-on-three.
2. Apply pressure on the PP -- No. We had eight power plays, and capitalized just once. For the entire game, we only put 27 shots on net. This still needs some work.
3. Get Josef Vasicek in the scoring column -- No. Although I thought he redirected the Kaberle goal, no credit was given. He had just one shot on goal.
4. Goaltending -- Check. Big Check. Gerber was not shaken despite being in a two goal hole only three minutes in. He turned aside 44 shots! He kept the big rebounds to a minimum. Spectacular.
5. Defense -- Not so sure. Commy looked great out there, and A Ward continued the hit parade, but the unit could have done better than to allow 46 shots on goal. If not for a tremendous effort by Gerber, it might have been 8-3.
The best play of the game, though, wasn't a goal or a save. It wasn't even the thunderous (and legal) hit by Ottawa's Vaclav Varada on Kevyn Adams. The best play was immediately following the Sens second goal, just before the ensuing faceoff. Jesse Boulerice threw down with Brian McGrattan, giving the team and the sparse crowd something to get excited about.
Next up: Wednesday night at home versus the Bruins
4 years ago