A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Showdown at the TO Corral.

Toronto edged the Canes 5-4 in an exciting overtime game on Thursday night. Both teams looked great.
Ray Whitney was kept out with his groin injury.
Andrew Hutchinson was a healthy scratch again. He still has zero points.

Darcy Tucker was first to light the lamp with a blistering slapshot from the top of the left faceoff circle after Tverdovsky gave the puck away in neutral ice. Ward didn't have a chance, as it hit the right post and went in.
Alexander Steen added a goal for the Leafs later in the first when he tipped/redirected a blue-line blast by Bryan McCabe. Again, Wardo had little chance to make a play on that.
Just one minute later, Oleg Tverdovsky scored his first goal in a Canes sweater when he slammed home a gorgeous centering pass from Eric Staal. No chance for the Billion dollar man.
While the Canes were busy killing one of about a billion first period power plays, Erik Cole had a shorthanded breakaway, but went just wide of the open net as Belfour came out to meet him.

In the second, the Canes found themselves on back-to-back power plays about 8 minutes in. The first was furious. We put a lot of shots on net and a lot of pressure on. Radim Vrbata had two terrific chances, but Belfour answered the bell both times. In the second of those powerplays, the Cap found the net on a nice feed from Frank Kaberle.

Later, while the Canes were on another powerplay, Matt Stajan took advantage of a terrible pass by Cam Ward to come in on a breakaway and score the shorthanded goal. Although he had the chance handed to him, he had to make a great shot to beat Ward.

Erik Cole had another breakaway chance with a wide open net later in the second, but Tomas Kaberle made a really great defensive play to keep him at bay.

In the third period, the Leafs were able to widen their lead to 4-2 on a nice goal by Eric Lindros from the right face-off circle. Moments later, however, the third time was a charm as Erik Cole was able to finish off a breakaway chance, fighting off a pokecheck/dive by T. Kaberle.
Cory Stillman tied it up at the 17:32 mark with a goal through heavy traffic with a delayed penalty in hand.
In the overtime period, Eric Staal picked up a high-sticking penalty with less than two to play, which was the key. Roddy actually had a breakaway shorthanded chance, all alone, but he was too indecisive and couldn't get a shot off. The Leafs were able to move the puck around as they pleased and won it with 18 seconds left on a slapper by Ken Klee.

All in all, a good game, and the Canes were able to pick up a point on the road. Although we were only able to score on one out of six chances, the powerplay units looked good. Also, our penalty killing was great, as they were able to limit the Leafs potent power play to one out of five.

On the night, Eric Staal had three assists and was named second star of the game. For the young season, he has 11 points (5/6) in six games, which is tied for second in the league. Jagr has 14 points (10/4), but has played nine games. Staal is on a pace to tally 150 points, while Jagr is on a 126-point clip. Neither guy will keep up the pace, but it's neat to talk about that stuff while the season is young.

Up next: Saturday night at the Capitals.

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