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

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hurricanes snatch consolation point from the jaws of shutout

On Tuesday night, the Hurricanes were on the brink of being shut out by the visiting Bruins, but managed to earn a standings point.

For the entire game, Boston had just a little more jump than the Canes and carried a 2-0 lead into the final 70 seconds of play. Zdeno Chara scored at 4:51 of the first on a power play goal assisted by Marco Sturm and Marc Savard. From below the right circle, Sturm centered a pass that Chara got the re-direction on. A moment later, Thomas made a dazzling save on a Ray Whitney breakaway, and the tone was set.
The tone was also set by some fighting and other rough stuff in the early going.

Tensions eased in the second period, but the Bruins made it 2-0 on a Savard power play goal from the top of the right circle at 14:28. Dennis Wideman and Andrew Ference assisted.

In the third period, Andrew Ference and Scott Walker took back-to-back matching penalties after exchanging recipes with each other. While they were in the adjacent penalty boxes, they probably discussed everything from Russian literature to deep sea fishing.

In a scene that was reminiscent of the December 18 game against Toronto, the Hurricanes scored two very quick goals with the goalie pulled.

Ray Whitney got the first at 18:57 of the third when he took a pass from Andrew Ladd in the left circle. Eric Staal got the secondary assist.

Erik Cole electrified the crowd just 20 seconds later with a goal from the same spot Eric Staal had a nice wrap chance that was denied by Thomas at the right post, but Cole tucked in the rebound.

Cole had a wonderful chance to win in the overtime period, but couldn't make it happen.

In the shootout, two Bruins scored while the first two Canes came up empty. In the first round, Sturm missed wide left and Matt Cullen hit the left post. In the second round, Phil Kessel scored five hole and Sergei Samsonov's backhand shot was saved by Thomas. David Krejci scored glove side, and the bottom of the third wasn't necessary.

Carolina can be happy that they persevered and got a point out of nothing. For the second time in the last three games, they have rallied from two goals down in the third. This should be a confidence builder for a team that seriously needs any boost they can get.

Ryan Bayda, Bret Hedican and Erik Cole were all "questionable", but all played. Jeff Hamilton did not play. Defenseman Tim Conboy played on the fourth forward line in his stead, but only got four shifts.

Peter Laviolette has apparently told the team not to come to the rink at all tomorrow. The locker room will be closed. They need to stay home, rest up and be ready to play Atlanta on Thursday night.

By getting the one standings point, Carolina widened their lead in the SE to three points over Atlanta and Washington. Atlanta will be idle on Wednesday while the Capitals will be at home against the Islanders.

The "official" three stars went to Ray Whitney (third), Tim Thomas (second) and Marc Savard (first). I have it a little differently. The RBH three stars:
THIRD STAR Anrew Ference, BOS --- 1 assist, 4 blocked shots
SECOND STAR Eric Staal, CAR --- 2 assists, 3 takeaways, 3 hits
FIRST STAR Tim Thomas, BOS --- 45 saves, win

Staal was very impressive in taking control of the game in the clutch situation, assisting both goals. This is exactly what the Hurricanes need from him now that Rod Brind'Amour is out for the season. This is his dress rehearsal for the day when the C becomes his.

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.