After losing three straight games, the Canes had their work cut out for them against the visiting Maple Leafs. During the skid, our lead in the Southeast Division, which had been nine points, had dwindled to only two points.
Good news came early, as the Canes had re-gained the services of Captain Rod Brind'Amour and alternate captain Glen Wesley. The impact wasn't as great as was expected, but it's still nice to have the ice general back out there. Normally, Brindy wins about 74% of his faceoffs, but he only won 53%. As a team, we won 51% overall and 54% of the draws in the offensive zone. Better than it had been without Rod, but not back up to 74%.
Another bit of good news was that the special teams were clicking. We converted two of our nine power play chances, and we scored one of the five times we were shorthanded. We allowed them to score one power play goal, but the good bit is that we only took five penalties. On that note, the bad news was that the scorer on the Leafs PP was the much hated Jeff O'Neill.
Yet another bit of good news that came early, and ended up being great news was that Andrew Hutchinson was back in the lineup. After being scratched a bunch of times, then going on the IR, it was beginning to look kind of dark in my quest for a hot dog with cheese. Hutch came through with two assists, moving me 25% along that path.
Without further ado, the recap:
At the 4:40 mark of the first, while the Canes were enjoying their first power play of the game, Bret Hedican unleashed a bomb from the left point that found its way past Tellqvist. Brind'Amour and HUTCHINSON assisted on the play.
At 18:45, with AWard in the bin for holding the stick, the Leafs put together a goal scoring play featuring assists by Alex Steen and Mats Sundin. The fella who scored the goal was the much hated and much booed Jeff O'Neill.
While the Canes were serving a too many men on the ice penalty, Eric Staal make a takeaway in neutral ice, came in on a two-on-one and slipped one in from the right faceoff dot. That was his 16th goal of the season, and his first shorthanded.
Ten minutes later, at the 13:14 mark, Jason Allison scored a beauty of a goal with assists from Tomas Kaberle and McCabe.
The next goal was a very confusing one that had to go upstairs for verification. At 17:42, there were a slew of players out front, and nobody could get a good stick on it. It slid over the line (was reviewed and allowed to stand). Initially they gave it to Brind'Amour, but they eventually deemed that he never touched it, and the goal went to Andrew Ladd, his first NHL point. Williams and HUTCHINSON were given assists.
At 11:23 of the third, Kilger knocked one in to knot it at three, and there would be no more scoring in regulation.
First to shoot in the shootout was Mats Sundin. Denied.
Radim Vrbata went first for the Canes. He came in with some pretty neat moves and scored easily. 1-0.
Next up, under the blanket of thunderous boos, was Jeff O'Neill. Denied.
Matt Cullen went next for the Canes, and went all the way in on Tellqvist before shooting it in. 2-0. Shootout over.
No Tevvy was awarded in the game, but I have to give an honorary Tevvy to former Canes winger Bates Battaglia. More on that later.
4 years ago