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

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Canes win, advance

On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes won another heartstopping game 2-1. Again it went to overtime. Again Cristobal Huet was very good for the Habs. Again, Cam Ward was even better for the Canes.

By finishing off the series, the Canes advance to the Conference semifinals, where they'll face the blistering hot New Jersey Devils.

I was drunk last night, and Blogger was acting up this morning, so this post is a little late. Sorry.

I didn't get to watch the game because I was working, but I had text message updates. And again, just like game 3, I happened to catch the game-winning goal out of the corner of my eye.

Cory Stillman got the game winner just 79 seconds into the extra session. It was already his second goal of the second season, which matches his goal output from his Stanley Cup winning postseason with Tampa in 2004. In fact, his 5 points (2/3) have him on pace to have the best playoff season of his career. The Captain had the lone assist.

Sheldon Souray got the Habs off and running with a goal at 6:31, but Mark Recchi answered back for the Canes just 30 seconds later. It was Recchi's first goal of this playoff season. Eric Staal picked up his sixth assist.

The next 53 minutes were a showcase for good goaltending.

Ultimately, Cam Ward was the winning goalie, and was probably the star of the entire series. However, the Montréal media saw fit to give the game's first star to Huet.

I can't emphasize this enough, but Cam Ward wasn't even expected to see any time in the pipes. He has performed brilliantly, and has remained cool and collected throughout.

Despite giving up three goals in game 2, and taking the loss, his numbers are in the top three all the way across the board. His GAA of 1.54 is third only to New Jersey's Martin Brodeur (1.00) and Anaheim's Ilja Bryzgalov (1.08). His save percentage of .940 is third only to Brodeur (.965) and Bryzgalov (.958).

It's almost fitting that the distinguished veteran Brodeur and the Cinderella story Cam Ward will be going head to head in the next round. I don't imagine either goaltender will have as outstanding numbers as in the first round. I can't wait for the series to start.

Unfortunately, we still don't know when that series will start. If I had to guess, I would say Saturday, but that's just a guess. I suppose when tonight's Calgary/Anaheim game ends and the West is all straightened out, they'll have the schedules up.

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