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

Friday, February 09, 2007

Canes rip Bruins 5-2, but get hurt

On Thursday night, the Hurricanes did what they should have done last Saturday: they crushed an inferior team. Carolina took some lumps along the way, but they defeated the Bruins by a nifty 5-2 tune. Just five days prior, they suffered a brutal home loss to the same Bruins squad in Raleigh.

Because it was Thursday night, my routine would be to watch the first period, DVR the rest, then head to Scrabble night. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, someone forgot to tell me that I'm an idiot. I didn't have any free space on my DVR, thanks to about a million episodes of Seinfeld. Therefore, I can't give colorful details about periods two and three. The tragedy there is that all the excitement took place in the second.

First to the "lumps". On Tuesday night, Carolina enjoyed their first fully healthy lineup all season. 55 games with at least one player, and in many cases, up to five on the injured reserve. Frantisek Kaberle returned in style, but Cory Stillman was lost again. That "fully healthy" stuff lasted less than two periods. Stillman left with a knee issue and is expected to be out about a week. Heading into Boston, the Canes didn't have an extra forward to replace Stillman. Instead, they dressed seven defensemen. By the end of the game, they had lost two more forwards. Erik Cole had to leave the game after suffering a "lower body" injury finishing a check midway through the second. A couple of minutes after that, Scott Walker was taken out by a knee from Andrew Alberts. A fight ensued, and no kneeing call was made, but the Canes will be expected to send the video to Clownshoes Campbell for review. I didn't see it live, but the slo-mo replay I saw suggests that Alberts deliberately led with the knee.

As the Canes roadtrip continues, they will be without at least Stillman, probably Cole, and perhaps Walker. Even if they dress extra defensemen, they still don't have enough bodies. Someone (read: Keith Aucoin) will have to come up from Albany. On Saturday, the Canes will be in St. Paul taking on Pavol Demitra and the rest of the Wild.

Brandon Bochenski, who was recalled from Norfolk just this week, lit the lamp twice for the Bruins, providing their only offense. His first came at 15:32 of the first. Paul Mara threw the puck at the net from an impossible angle, and Bocheski was there to knock it in from the doorstep. Patrice Bergeron got the secondary helper.

I didn't see anything else, so I'm just relying on the scoresheet and the highlights.

After the Cole injury, the Walker injury (and the ensuing fight) Ray Whitney exploded for the Canes. In a span of 100 seconds, he scored three goals. This is what's called a "natural" hat trick. Three goals by the same player with no other scoring plays in between. This is the fastest "natural" in the NHL this season, and is the only for the Canes.

At 15:36 Whitney was out front all alone in the low slot to pick up some loose change and beat Andrew Raycroft top shelf. Trevor "the Dude" Letowski and Rod Brind'Amour got the assists.

The second goal came at 16:45 when Whitney accepted a nifty behind-the-goal pass from Eric Staal near the left post. Somehow, he beat Raycroft on the far (glove) side. Staal and Viva assisted.

Before the PA announcement was made, Whitney completed the hattie b wrapping around the right post and finding Raycroft's five hole at 17:16. Brindy and "the Dude" assisted.

In the closing seconds of the second, Ray Whitney nearly got his fourth goal of the night. He uncorked a howitzer from the left point that was subtly redirected by Viva in the slot. It was Williams' 28th goal of the season, assisted by Whitney and Staal.

Bochenski made it 4-2 at 12:36 of the third, but he couldn't complete a hat trick, and the Bruins didn't score any more after that.

Brind'Amour got an empty net goal at 19:32 assisted by Viva and Kaberle.

The RBH three stars are the same as the "official" ones.
THIRD STAR Justin Williams, CAR -- 1 goal, 2 assists
SECOND STAR Brendon Bochenski, BOS -- 2 goals.
FIRST STAR Ray Whitney, CAR -- 3 goals, assist. Natural hat trick in 1:40.

The Canes will be on the road to face the Wild on Saturday night.

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