Game Analysis: Hurricanes At Avalanche

For the second straight game the Carolina Hurricanes lost in overtime. Ryan O`Reilly forced Justin Faulk to turn the puck over in the neutral zone and ripped a slap shot past Cam Ward with less than two seconds remaining in the extra session to give the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 win. Tim Brent, Jiri Tlusty and Eric Staal for Carolina, and Ward made 29 saves.

The Hurricanes are now 20-25-11 with 51 points, last in the Eastern Conference through 56 games.

Three Observations

1. Tlusty continues to show off the skills that made him a first-round pick back in 2006. With 23 seconds left in the first period, Tlusty took a Staal pass and quickly fired it past Jean-Sebastian Giguere to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. Tlusty now has a four-game point streak and even though he's playing on the top line, he's only playing between 14 to 16 minutes each night and is doing his damage at even strength.

2. With Ward, Giguere and Justin Peters suited up, the game had three goalies who were selected by the Hartford/Carolina franchise in the game. Only eight goaltenders drafted by the franchise have made it to the NHL (Ward, Peters, Giguere, Mike Murphy, Manny Legace, Mike Lenarduzzi, Kay Whitmore and Darren Jensen), so to have nearly half of them in the game was surely a rare event. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado's backup Friday, was selected by Washington before being traded to Colorado this offseason, but happened to be drafted in Raleigh at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft

3. The Canes did not commit a penalty against the Avalanche, the first time this season they did not get called for an infraction. But Carolina was unable to convert on any of their three opportunities with the man-advantage. The Hurricanes are 0-for-February, having gone four games without scoring on the power play. They last scored with the man advantage when Tim Brent tallied in a 5-2 loss to the Islanders Jan. 31.

Number To Know

2-11 — Carolina’s overtime/shootout record this season, the worst in the NHL. No team has fewer wins after regulation, and only Los Angeles and Florida have as many losses. Detroit holds the league's top record in overtimes and shootouts at 10-2.

Plus

Eric Staal — The Carolina captain continued his hot streak, scoring a goal and adding an assist. He was also a plus-2, making it four straight games Staal has finished on the right side of the plus/minus ledger. He is now minus-21 on the season, and is out of the NHL cellar as the Islanders' Milan Jurcina (minus-23) and Columbus' Rick Nash (minus-22) sit in the bottom two spots.

Minus

Justin Faulk — Having a 19-year-old defenseman playing 20 minutes every night — actually 25:39 against the Avs — means you're going to have some growing pains along the way, Faulk's turnover that led to O`Reilly's game-winner was the second of two bad giveaways on the night for the rookie. On the whole Faulk had another good night, leading the team with four hits and adding two blocked shots. But defensemen are often judged on the mistakes they make, not the plays they make. Faulk's mistakes are what will be remembered from Friday.

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