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

Friday, December 09, 2005

Cole strikes twice; Canes move to 3-1-1 on long road trip

The Canes downed J-Ro and the Kings 3-2 on Thursday night. With one game remaining on the six game road trip, the Canes are 3-1-1. The boys will be in San Jose Saturday night for a fling with the Sharks.

For the second game in a row, the Canes came out ready to play. For the second game in a row, they were up 2-0 after 20 minutes. This is very encouraging. However, for the second game in a row, they allowed two third period goals. The third period is normally our time to shine. I guess I'll blame it on the time zone difference.

The best thing is that Erik Cole came out of a 14-game goal slump to tally two. The first, a power play goal, was an absolute blast from the right faceoff circle on a broken play at 10:27 into the first. He was trying to reset, but he saw a huge gap, so took the shot. Perfect. Chad LaRose got his first NHL assist and Eric Staal got his 21st assist of the season on the play.

Next came a Justin Williams tap-in at the 13:59 mark. Just as a Kings penalty had elapsed, he was there to stick home a shot that was pinballing around. Helpers came from Mikey C and Cory Stillman.

The second Cole goal came at 6:52 of the second. After a long pass from Tevvy, Cole had to use his strength to fight off his man on a semi-breakaway, then wait out the keeper to make the perfect shot.

The Kings came to life in the third frame, cutting it to one. They had several quality chances to tie it, but couldn't best Gerber down the stretch. One crucial mistake they made was to commit a hooking penalty at 16:44 of the third, killing the momentum they had built. The result was that they had to wait until about :30 remaining to pull the goalkeeper.

All in all, a great game. For the second game in a row, we did not allow any power play goals. The Kings had one 5-3 sequence that lasted about :45, but the Canes were able to stave it off as well. Of the Canes three powerplay chances, they scored on one, and another goal came just five seconds after a tripping penalty had expired.

After five of six road games, the Canes are 3-1-1, and looking very good. Up next: a Saturday night rumble with the Sharks.

Oh, and by the way, Sean Avery, all three Carolina goals were scored by guys wearing visors. What did you do?

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