On Friday morning, the Canes had a lunch date with the Bruins. Not only did Carolina eat well, but they made Boston pick up the tab. The end result was a 5-1 victory for Carolina. The two teams will meet again for a dinner date in Raleigh on December 2.
The Canes played a terrible game on Wednesday, but it could have been much worse if Johnny Crackers hadn't stepped up to the plate big time. He was rewarded with an opportunity to make his second consecutive start between the pipes. This time, he got some support in front of him and he picked up his second win of the season.
Eric Staal, who had been playing poorly and had been effectively benched in the Islanders game, got the scoring started at 18:36 of the first. The Canes were moving the puck well on a power play chance, and Staalsy had the puck down low beneath the left circle. From there, he fired a centering pass to Eric Belanger at the top of the crease. Initially, it looked like Belanger got his stick down to deflect the pass in the net. Replays showed, however, that it bounced in off a Bruins' skate. Credit Staal with the power play goal, Trevor Letowski with one assist and Scott Walker with the second.
At 10:35 of the second, Viva scored what would prove to be the game winner. The Canes were really having their way in the Bruins zone, controlling the puck posession for a very long time. After a few failed clearing attempts by the Bruins, the Canes were able to set up a play against some exhausted Bs players. While the Bruins players looked on, Scott Walker skated literal circles around the tired defenders and found Viva on the left side of the net. Williams took the pass, and easily tucked it in. The whole play, though, was started when David Tanabe made -- I'm not making this up -- a good defensive play in center ice, which allowed the continuation of "offensive" posession. He passed to Walker, who put on the aforementioned skating clinic, then the goal. Credit Viva with the goal, Scott Walker with the first helper and David Tanabe with the second assist.
Just nine seconds later, before the Caniacs could settle back into their seats, Erik Cole made it 3-0. Rod Brind'Amour won the faceoff to Mike Commodore, who fed Colesy on the right wing. He exploded to the net and somehow slipped one past Tim Thomas. Thomas never saw the puck until it was already in. The play was briefly reviewed, presumably to see if it had been kicked in. It was allowed to stand. It was just the 8th goal of the season for Cole. Credit Brind'Amour (23rd) and Commodore (10th) with the assists. Thomas was replaced by Phillipe Sauve, who had just been called up from AHL Providence Bruins.
After John Grahame was penalized for playing the puck outside the trapezoid, Patrice Bergeron scored on the power play with a slapper from the right circle. Marc Savard had he only assist.
Eric Belanger scored at 8:20 of the third on a nice wrap-around chance. He went behind the net, then reversed his direction to go around the left post and beat Sauve in the five hole. Mike Commodore and Chad LaRose got the assists.
The final goal was a really nice one. Craig Adams hit Andrew Ladd with a really nice long diagonal cross-ice pass from blue line to blue line. Ladd stayed on side, streaked in alone on the left side and ripped a snap shot off the far post and in. CrAdams got the only assist.
The "official" three stars went to Erik Cole (third), Scott Walker (second) and Eric Staal (first).
I saw it a little differently.
The RBH stars of the game:
Third Star Mike Commodore, CAR. 2 assists, 21:41 TOI, +3
Second Star Eric Belanger, CAR. 1 goal, 2 takeaways
First Star Scott Walker, CAR. 2 assists
Next up, the Canes will take on the Senators at home on Tuesday. It'll be the first game of a three game homestand.
5 years ago