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

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Canes beat Bs, President's Cup field narrowed to 29.

It took some third frame heroics, but the Canes were able to turn aside the visiting Bruins to earn their 84th point. The win was the 25th home triumph and the 40th overall this season. It wasn't typical fare for the Canes, though. It wasn't, but it kinda was. The boys rallied from down a goal at the second intermission, giving them their seventh win when trailing after two. That figure is second only to Dallas' eight.

Oleg Tverdovsky scored the Canes first goal after the Bruins had taken an early first period lead. Tevvy picked up the loose change after Staal and Colesy had their own whacks at it. Staal got his 40th helper and Cole got his 29th.

At 5:09 of the second, my boy AWard notched his fifth goal of the season, giving the Canes a short-lived lead. AWard and Brindy came in with numbers and AWard uncorked a slap shot from well above the right circle. I don't think Tim Thomas ever saw it. Brind'Amour had the only assist, his 27th.

Just past the mid-way point of the second, David Tanabe and Sergei Samsonov put on their best imitation of Markus Naslund and Anson Carter, scoring goals 23 seconds apart. Both goals were even-strength, and both were the result of Carolina turnover. Tanabe at 11:30 and Samsonov at 11:53. There was no more scoring in the period, and for the 18th time this season, Carolina went to the second intermission trailing their opponent.

Ray "The Wizard" Whitney (upon whom Canes TV guy John Forsland has a huge man-crush) tied the game at the 3:32 mark. Cory Stillman went coast-to-coast and dropped a nifty pass for Whitters, who got a couple of whacks at it before it got past Thomas. It was Whitney's tenth goal of the season. As Forsland would be eager to tell you, the Canes have won every time Whitney scores a goal, so it looked good at that point. Cam Ward actually got the secondary assist, his second of the season.

Twelve minutes would pass before AWard finally put the Canes ahead at the 15:36 mark. Nik "Evil Swede" Nordgren and Dougie Weight got helpers on the goal. It was Weight's first point in a Canes sweater, and I expect there to be many more now that the monkey has been evicted from his back.

AWard was rightfully awarded the first star, and Tevvy was given the third. What doesn't make any sense is that Wardo got the second star. I just don't get it. He only faced four shots in the third, and a grand total of 28 shots on the game. He gave up three goals, which means his save % for the game was a sorry .893. I don't get it.

Stillman couldn't pot a goal, so he'll have to wait until Friday to get his career 200th versus Florida.

While all of that was going on, Ottawa held off a furious third frame comeback attempt from Pittsburgh to emerge victorious. At the end of two, the Sens were up 4-0, but Ray Emery gave up three third period goals to make the Sens faithful sweat. Included in those three goals was the first of the season for Pens tough guy Andre Roy. Only 49 more until he proves his pre-season prediction. It's just not going to happen.

Because of the Canes win AND the Pens loss, Pittsburgh is mathematically eliminated from the race for President's Cup. They have 39 points and have 22 games remaining. If they were to win every game, they would have 83 points. Carolina already has 84 points (oh, and Detroit has 85), which means the Pens can be crossed off the list of candidates for this beautiful trophy. The 29th name on the list is that of St. Louis, who also won on Wednesday, earning their 43rd point. With 25 games left for them, their best possible finish would be 93 points. Detroit has 85, and Carolina 84, so it may be two weeks before the Blues join Pittsburgh in mathematical elimination.
Carolina has 24 games remaining, and their best possible finish would be 132 points. Detroit has 23 games remaining, and their best possible finish would be 131 points.

Up next for the Canes(and for me): a Friday night home game against the Panthers.

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