Heading into this game, we hoped that two long streaks would be continued. The Panthers came in on a horrible six game losing streak while the Hurricanes were on an eight game tear.
With another brilliant game by Martin Gerber, we won 1-0. The victory extended our win streak to 9, extended their loss streak to 7, and widened our lead in the Southeast division.
There was a big scare very early. Eric Staal fell awkwardly and appeared to twist his knee. In the process he banged his head against the ice pretty good. Fortunately, it wasn't serious in any way. He returned just a moment later.
Erik Cole was awarded his third penalty shot in the last 40 minutes of game play. He missed. We might see a bunch of this for the remainder of the season, as he seems to be getting loads of breakaway chances. He became the second player in NHL history (Esa Pirnes -- Los Angeles Kings, October 10 & 12, 2003) to take penalty shots in consecutive games.
Luongo was giving up a lot of big rebounds, but was able to answer the bell every time.
Mikey C made some really nice defensive plays. This has been a common theme. I really like what he's brought us.
Martin Gerber looked good, but made one play worthy of Tevvy consideration. With a penalty to Marty Gelinas expiring, he made what he thought would be a clearing pass to center ice, but Gelinas came out of the box to meet it, and came in all alone. Nothing came of that.
Radim Vrbata looked really good. He had already had some great scoring chances that were denied by Roberto Luongo, and he created several other really good chances in the second. Unfortunately for him, his efforts didn't bear fruit. But don't think that we're not noticing.
Another player who continues to play very well every night, but will never get accolades is Mikey C. I already said it on this post, but this is a live update, so I have to say it again. He absolutely CRUSHED Marty Gelinas late in the second, which prompted Gelly to throw a little tantrum on his way back to the bench.
On our fifth power play opportunity, we finally connected. After a good deal of hard work, we got an easy one from Eric Staal. It was his 12th goal of the season, meaning that he's already surpassed his goal total from 2003-04. On the play, he was beautifully set up by Erik Cole and Ray Whitney, each of whom tallied their 10th assist.
Radim Vrbata had a beautiful scoring chance fall just short as it clanged off the left post early on. Again, although it didn't show in the scoresheet, the coaches and real fans have taken notice. He deserves lots of playing time. He might get a chance, as Vasicek had to leave the game after heavy knee-to-knee contact with a Panthers skater. Hopefully, the injury won't be serious, but he may be held out tomorrow against the Thrashers just as a precaution.
Nothing really to report in the third period. Two missed power play opportunities, and a couple of dandy stops by Luongo.
So for the second time in seven days, "the Gerber baby" shuts out the Florida Panthers.
Since Tampa had already lost, this means we widen our lead to nine points in the Southeast Division.
Up next: a home game versus the Thrashers on Saturday night. I have a ticket, but I can't go. Fortunately, we have a ticket exchange program, so I'll get to go to a different game that I wouldn't otherwise go to.
5 years ago