Cam Ward earned his fourth shutout of the season and the Carolina Hurricanes kept their slim playoff hopes alive Wednesday night with a solid 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings in front of 17,602 at the RBC.
The win moves them within two points of the eighth place New York Rangers.
After a scoreless first period which saw both teams combine for 33 shots on goal as well as multiple scoring chances, the Canes would light the lamp first about four minutes into the second period on a seeing eye shot from the point by Derek Joslin.
The defenseman kept his shot low and it slipped inside the edge of the goal, just out of Jimmy Howard's reach. The marker was a powerplay tally and was just the second goal of Joslin's career. It was also his first as a Hurricane.
The Canes would jump ahead 2-0 late in the period when Jeff Skinner took the rebound of an Eric Staal shot and wrapped it around the net for his 30th goal of the season. Skinner had already come close a couple of other times in the period and it looked like he might be ready to break through at anytime.
The goal was a significant one because the rookie is the 7th youngest player in NHL history to register 30 goals in a season.
Carolina would face some adversity early in the third period when Drayson Bowman was called for a 4 minute high-sticking penalty. But the team killed it off nicely and scored again just after the penalty expired.
Bowman jumped out of the box and joined the defense, but Staal and Erik Cole broke out. Staal fed Cole a perfect pass as he skated over the blueline and the winger scored his 25th of the season, the most goals he has scored in a single season in five years.
Cole had been buzzing all game and had created several chances with his speed.
Cam Ward did the rest as he stopped a total of 42 shots, giving him an 11-1-1 record (unofficial) when he makes 40 saves or more.
The Hurricanes are now 26-1-0 when leading after two periods. They will have an optional skate on Thursday and will leave for Atlanta for another big game on Friday night.
Quick Stats and Thoughts:
- Staal had three assists giving him a total of 75 points, (33G 42A), in 79 games played. He has points in four straight games and has 12 points in his last nine games.
- Skinner now has 9 points, (6G 3A) in his last nine games.
- The Canes have earned points in eight of their last nine games, (7-1-1).
- The Red Wings looked sharp at times but were not firing on all cylinders. Henrik Zetterberg had to leave the game about midway through the first period and never returned.
- Tim Gleason and Bryan Allen led the way with four hits each. The team was credited with a total of 19.
- Staal also won 57% of his faceoffs. Jussi Jokinen was 7 of 10 for 70%. The team finished at 48%.
- Gleason also had a team high four blocked shots.
- Carolina had 32 shots on goal led by Cole and Skinner with five each, then Staal, Corvo, and Stillman each with four.
Playoff Race Update from Brian:
The Canes go 2-0-0 and: either the Rangers get two points or fewer in
their final two games, or the Sabres lose their final two in
The Canes go 1-0-1 and the Rangers get either one or zero points in
their final two games.
The Canes go either 1-1-0 or 0-0-2 and the Rangers lose their final
two games in regulation.
If the Canes go 0-1-1 or 0-2-0 they will be eliminated.
Post Game Interviews: