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

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Canes rebound, crush Sens

On Sunday afternoon, the Hurricanes put the bad loss in Buffalo behind them by pasting the visiting Senators 5-1. To make things extra sweet, it became even more clear that Carolina got the better end of the February 11 trade.

Joe Corvo, who hated the Canadian press, and who was constantly maligned by the Sens faithful, had a spectacular night. He recorded his first career hat trick, notching goals 10,11 and 12 of the season. He now has 42 (12/30) points on the season. 15 (6/9) have come in 15 games since joining the Hurricanes.

Dany Heatley got the scoring off to an early start when the Sens cashed in on a five-on-three power play situation. Jason Spezza made a very nice cross-ice pass to Heatley, who was parked by the right post. He tucked it in for the early lead, but it would be the Sens only bright spot. Cory Stillman got the secondary assist.

Patrick Eaves, the other part of that Feb 11 trade, got his first goal in a Hurricanes uniform during the Canes first power play of the afternoon. Frantisek Kaberle's hard shot from the blue line was tipped by Eaves at the top of the goal crease. The penalty, by the way, was Mike Commodore's. Officially, the power play goal was at 7:00 of the first, and it was assisted by Kaberle and Scott Walker.

Mike Commodore's night got worse when his second penalty of the game led to Carolina's second goal of the game at 10:24. Joe Corvo fired a cannon from the high slot that the Gerber Baby had no chance on. The game-winning goal was during a four-on-three power play. Sergei Samsonov and Eric Staal got the assists.

Scott Walker scored his second goal in as many games, beating Gerber with a nasty wrist shot at 5:56 of the second. After a Sens turnover, Eric Staal fed Tim Gleason, who joined the 3-on-2 rush. Gleason, streaking down the right wing made a beautiful pass to Walker, who wristed it in from the inside hash marks of the left circle.

There was no more scoring in the second, but it was emblematic of the Sens play for the whole game. They only mustered three shots in the second frame, and they committed five penalties. The puck was in the Ottawa end for probably 70% of the period.

At 2:09 of the final stanza, Joe Corvo got his second goal of the night with a laser beam from the top of the right circle. Again on the power play, and again it was assisted by Samsonov and Staal.

To cap a magnificent afternoon, Corvo scored on a nifty backhand goal at 17:50 of the third to finish a breakaway . Tuomo Ruutu got the only assist. It was Corvo's first career hat trick, and perhaps the first one ever by a Hurricanes defenseman.

It's hard to argue with the "official" three stars of Patrick Eaves (third), Eric Staal (second) and Joe Corvo (first). While that's cute to give both former Sens a star, I think I've gotta give SerSam some love on this one. The RBH three stars:

THIRD STAR Sergei Samsonov, CAR --- 2 assists, 2 takeaways
SECOND STAR Eric Staal, CAR --- 3 assists
FIRST STAR Joe Corvo, 3 goals, 3 blocked shots

Mike Commodore had a dismal day, and has been nothing but trouble for the Sens. His two penalties today both resulted in Canes goals. He doled out five hits, but has been for Ottawa thus far exactly what he had grown to be in Carolina: a liability. In 17 games with the Sens, he has no points and is a -8.

Cory Stillman had an assist on Ottawa's only goal. In 17 games for them, he has 14 (2/12) points and is a -5.

On the other hand...

Joe Corvo has 15 points (6/9) in 15 games with Carolina and is a +6.

Patrick Eaves has 4 points (1/3) in 9 games with Carolina and is a -1.

Although Carolina took care of their end, they didn't get help from their SE enemies. Both Washington and Florida won their games. Carolina's lead in the SE remains at five points.

Carolina will be off until Wednesday, when they travel to Atlanta.

After this game, what will the Canadian press say about Corvo?

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