On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes and Preds ended up locked in a goaltending duel. The red light only came on once during the game, and the home team emerged with a thrilling 1-0 victory.
The first two periods were, frankly, mundane. I had very little reason to even stir as I sat on the couch. I could have been reading, or doing my taxes, or working a cryptoquote or whatever. Neither team was able to mount any sustained pressure against the other. Both goaltenders were stopping everything and not giving up rebounds.
In the third period, Nashville had a clear advantage in time of possession and the puck stayed in Carolina's end for nearly the entire 20 minutes. Cam Ward really shone in the final frame, turning aside some high-quality chances.
The impasse ended when the former Sabre JP Dumont finished a three-on-one rush. The time of the goal was 11:59 of the third, and it was assisted by Jason Arnott and Alexander Radulov, who had a six-game goals streak heading into the game.
That goal would be the only one.
The shutout means that Carolina hasn't scored a goal in 111 minutes and 33 seconds. It also means that they are 0-4 on the road against the Central Division. They lost 4-1 to the Blue Jackets, 5-2 to the Red Wings, and suffered the same 1-0 fate at the hands of the Blues. Their chance to save face will be March 12 against the Blackhawks.
Chad "Sharpie" LaRose suffered a freak injury in the first period. On his first shift, he was going hard after a loose puck behind the Preds net. He couldn't stop and went hard, feet-first into the boards the same way Sidney Crosby did. He has suffered a broken leg and will be out for several weeks. Cue Brandon Nolan.
Carolina got one bit of good news on the bad night: Atlanta lost in regulation. However, the Capitals won their game, which puts them one point ahead of Carolina in the standings, and with a game in hand.
Carolina will have a chance to make it better as their five game road swing continues in our nation's Capital on Friday night. They will have the opportunity to climb back into first place. If they lose in regulation, they will fall even further behind.
The three stars of the game Tuesday are pretty easy. The hard part is ordering them. The official stars went to Cam Ward (third), JP Dumont (second) and Chris Mason (first). I'm gonna give my boy more credit than that. The RBH three stars:
THIRD STAR Jean-Pierre Dumont, NAS --- GWG
SECOND STAR Cam Ward, CAR --- 33 saves
FIRST STAR Chris Mason, NAS --- 31 saves, shutout
There is no doubt about it. Carolina is in a "must-win" situation on Friday. Washington will be using their game in hand tomorrow night against the high-flying Flyers in Philadelphia. Obviously, Canes fans will be rooting for the Flyers.
On another note, it was 72 degrees today, but it's still WAY too early to think about planting tomatoes.
4 years ago