The Carolina Hurricanes played about as good a game as you can ask for on Friday night as they blanked the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-0 in front of 16,056 at the RBC. Cam Ward got the shutout, his first of the season and 17th of his career.
The Canes were very happy with their performance afterward, calling it a complete game effort. Ward said that the team recognized they needed to be better after the Ottawa game, and they got the desired effort.
The home team started off the scoring with their fourth line on the ice, just three minutes and change into the game. Tim Brent won a faceoff and sent it back to Tim Gleason, who fired it on net. The puck got past Corey Crawford and at first Gleason was awarded the goal, but it was later given to Brent, as the puck hit him on the way in.
The Canes held the lead and had the better of the play throughout that period, outshooting the Hawks 12-7 in the process.
The second period was a pretty even one. Eric Staal drew a penalty shot chance and was able to fake out Crawford, but could not lift the puck past the outstretched goalie.
Jonathan Toews had a breakaway chance of his own after a very slow line change by the Canes, but Ward was able to stop him.
The third period was an exciting one as both teams had their chances. At 5:39 into the period, Jussi Jokinen found Brandon Sutter breaking out of the penalty box and Sutter raced in alone on Crawford, beating him with a quick wrister. It was 2-0, Carolina.
Then with less than five minutes left, Bryan Allen made a sweet offensive play, taking the puck down the ice and holding onto it until the very last minute. He then sent it to the front of the net and Jiri Tlusty only had to tap it in for the final tally.
The Canes will try to build some momentum on this decisive win as they travel to Philadelphia right after the game.
- One of the impressive things about this game was that Carolina did not let the foot off the gas. They stayed aggressive throughout and kept attacking, they did not sit back on the lead.
- The Canes outshot the visitors 33-30. They were led by Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal with four each.
- Staal got bloodied with a high stick in the opening period and left the game for a bit. Patrick Kane was awarded the penalty, but it looked like Daniel Carcillo was the culprit. The Canes did not look good on the ensuing four minute powerplay, but they did gain some momentum with it.
- The team finished at 48% in the circle. It looked Maurice put Sutter out to face Toews (76%) most of the night. (Staal 67%, Sutter 38%, Jokinen 58%, and Brent 40%)
- They were credited with 20 blocked shots. Several players had three each. (McBain, Sutter, Pitkanen, Dwyer, and Harrison)
- Carolina only had 11 hits in the game, led by Allen, Poni, and dwyer with three each.
Post game interviews are next, (with some classic Paul Maurice quips)