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

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Canes fall in Detroit

After playing a very solid sixty minutes in Montréal on Saturday night, Carolina had very little time to rest and prepare for the best team in the NHL. Against Detroit on Sunday, they looked good. "Good" wouldn't be enough, though. Detroit won 5-2, which looks like a blowout. It was, however, very much in question until the final moments. Although they were badly outshot, Carolina held in there and they should be happy with the amount of effort.

Valtteri Filppula started the scoring at 4:35 of the first with a tip-in of a rebound from a Jiri Hudler shot. Nick Lidstrom got the secondary assist. The game was delayed briefly while they reviewed the goal. I think they were looking to see if the whistle had blown, but it was a short review and the goal stood up.

That was the only scoring of the first, but the shots on goal were 16-4 in favor of the home team. Still, Carolina looked very much in it.

Before the scant crowd could even get back in their seats for the second period, Erik Cole made it a tie game with a fantastic individual effort. Tim Gleason fired a shot from the right half-wall and Cole was there for the rebound. Hasek answered the bell, but there was another rebound coming. In a matter of just a split second, Cole located the airborne rebound and batted it into the net from about knee level. Time of that goal was 0:46 of the second.

Johan Franzen, author of the bestselling novel The Corrections scored at 6:02 of the second to restore the one goal lead. Tim Gleason was in the box for delay of game (clearing the puck over the glass), and the Wings were putting on a passing display. After some really nifty passes, Daniel Cleary fired a shot that was very subtly re-directed at the top of the crease. Jiri Hudler got the other assist on the power play marker. I'm well aware of the fact that Johan Franzen and Jonathan Franzen are different people. The latter was the one who actually wrote The Corrections, but I still like to make the joke.

Erik Cole answered the call with his second goal of the night at 10:36. Hank Zetterberg was off for tripping and Cole let one rip from the right circle. Hasek didn't have a chance. Scott Walker and Frantisek Kaberle had the assists on the power play goal.

Andreas Lilja put the Wings back on top at 12:40. His rising shot from the high slot beat Cam Ward pretty badly. Niklas Kronwall and Jiri Hudler got the helpers.

The second period ended 3-2. It was still very much a game despite the 26-11 shots on goal count favoring the Wings. If Carolina was tired, they didn't show it much

In the third period, the fatigue started to show. Carolina's passes weren't very crisp and they looked a little confused at times. Detroit was penalized two times early in the period, giving the Hurricanes every chance to tie it up, but they just couldn't get it done.

Pavel Datsyuk made a really pretty play to breakaway on Ward and beat him cleanly at 17:22 to make it a two goal game. The goal was unassisted

Since this is a non-Conference game, the coaching strategy is a little different. Whereas normally the goaltender would be pulled with about 1:15 to play, Laviolette was a little more aggressive. Cam Ward was trying to come off the ice with about 2:15 to play. Unfortunately, Carolina couldn't get the puck deep enough for Ward to come off. He was all the way to the bench, but had to backpedal with Zetterberg storming in. Somehow, Ward got there in time to make a great stop on the Zetterberg breakaway, but the rebound went into the low slot where Tomas Holmstrom banged it in at 17:58. Zetterberg had the only assist.

The shots on goal were 38-17 and although the five goals stand out in the box score, Cam Ward was pretty sharp. On the other end, the Dominator looked pretty shaky. For the home team, however, it was good enough.
Detroit will travel to Nashville for a Monday night game while Carolina will go home and be idle until Wednesday when the Senators come to town.

The "official" three stars were Hudler (third), Cole (second) and Lilja (first). I'm not so sure about that. Sure, Lilja got the game winner -- and it was a beauty, but I just don't think he was one of the best players on the ice. And I think Hudler was way better than he's being given credit for. The RBH three stars:
THIRD STAR Niklas Lidstrom, DET --- two assists
SECOND STAR Erik Cole, CAR --- two goals
FIRST STAR Jiri Hudler, DET --- three assists

No comments:


Red And Black Hockey is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Club, the National Hockey League or any of its other member clubs. The opinions expressed herein are entirely those of RBH. Any comments made are the opinion of the commenter, and not necessarily that of RBH.
Whenever possible, RBH uses its own photography. Any incidental use of copyrighted material including photography, logos or other brand markings will not interfere with the owner's profits.