The Hurricanes took a lead in the first period, but could not take advantage of numerous powerplays and ended up losing the game on a goal by Ethan Moreau with about a minute and a half left in the contest. Moreau added an empty netter with 35 seconds left to add insult to injury.
Ray Whitney started the scoring off for the Canes, as he broke into the clear after taking a beautiful lead pass from Tim Gleason.
Toward the end of the period, Tuomo Ruutu laid a solid check along the boards which knocked down Denis Grebeshkov. Moreau, the captain of the Oilers took exception to the hit and immediately challenged Ruutu to drop the gloves. Moreau received an instigator and 10 minute misconduct for his trouble. The feisty Finn had 6 hits in that opening period, but was not credited with another one for the rest of the game.
Grebeshkov left the game and did not return.
In the second period, the Oilers took advantage of one of their few powerplays. Shawn Horcoff took a nice cross ice pass from Ales Hemsky, and put it on net. The puck got behind Cam Ward, then the goalie knocked the puck in the net as he closed his legs.
The goal put an end to the longest shutout sequence in regulation for Ward, 131:56, a career best. The previous regulation goal scored on him came at 19:49 of the first period in Montreal.
Moreau's goal, the one that mattered most got through the goalie on the short side. It is probably one that he wished he had back.
Erik Cole was a physical presence during the game, but only took two shots on goal. He wore poor Dennis Seidenberg out all afternoon. Cole was credited with eight hits.
No one seems to have an answer for the weak powerplay, but it is costing the Hurricanes points. Coach Laviolette said after the game that he was disappointed with the Hurricanes effort after the opening period. He called time out at one point in the second, and switched up the lines putting Samsonov with Staal's line and moving Whitney with Brind'Amour.
The team will be right back at it tomorrow as Toronto will be in town. It will be Hockey Fights Cancer night for Carolina and there will be other activities.
More later tonight.