The Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 2 to 1 last night, as they played one of their best games of the season. The Canes opened up the contest with 18 shots in the first period and closed the door with 20 more shots in the third.
The game totals were 48 shots on goal for Carolina and 29 for Montreal.
The team got into penalty trouble in the second period, but after Robert Lang scored a powerplay goal early in the period for the Habs, the penalty killers were up to the task and did a fine job killing the rest, including a brief 5-on-3 advantage. A total of five minor penalties were called against Carolina in that period.
Brandon Sutter had an outstanding night killing penalties.
The third period was almost all Carolina and was one of their best of the season. Early in the third, Sergei Samsonov tied the score and got the monkey off of his back with his first goal of the year. About three minutes later, Ray Whitney put in a rebound during a powerplay and that turned out to be the game winner.
The Canes did not let up, even after they had the lead. For the most part, they kept the pressure in the Canadiens zone and kept shooting the puck.
Of course Montreal did have a few good chances, but Cam Ward had an excellent night and with timely help from his defense, was equal to the challenge. This was a team victory and certainly a performance to build on.
After the game, the players were very vocal in the dressingroom. Ray Whitney said that the team had a lot of energy. It certainly showed. Sergei Samsonov was asked how it felt to score against Montreal and he responded that it was always special to score against a former team. Cam Ward was thankful to his defense for playing a great game.
The Canes will be taking today off and will be back to practice tomorrow in preparation for Friday night's game against Phoenix.
Rumor has it that Cory is working on another feature story for Thursday, this one questioning the legacy of the Coyotes famous coach. The article title - Wayne Gretzky, Don't Believe the Hype.
Finally, I am attaching a video I took of last night's post game interview with Tuomo Ruutu. The Finn didn't score but he certainly made an impact with his hitting and skating.