Game Analysis: Hurricanes At Ducks

The Carolina Hurricanes fell victim to what some are calling "the blown call of the year," losing in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks after a non-call led to Corey Perry's game-winning goal. Tuomo Ruutu and Eric Staal scored for the Hurricanes, and Cam Ward made 31 saves in the overtime loss.

The Canes have taken home at least a point in seven of eight games and now sit at 20-25-10 for 50 points, last in the Eastern Conference.

Three Observations

1. Referee Tim Peel's no-call in overtime, plainly put, cost Carolina a fair chance at the extra point. According to coach Kirk Muller, Peel explained that he observed Jussi Jokinen clip the Carolina net and fall over. The replay clearly shows that never happened and that Perry tripped Jokinen, which led to a give-and-go that resulted in last year's Hart Trophy winner ending the game. In a game where few penalties were called, one can expect a play like this to be let go in a different part of the ice. But the fact that Chad LaRose was called on a similar play with the Hurricanes on the power play in the third makes the blown call even more inexcusable.

2. People will surely remember Ruutu's baseball swing goal that opened the scoring, but how about the play Jiri Tlusty made prior to that to get the puck to the goal mouth Tlusty cut to the middle and shrugged off a hit from the much-bigger Ryan Getzlaf, firing off a shot that Ruutu screened from Ducks netminder Jonas Hiller. Ruutu collected the loose puck and whacked it in on his second chance, giving the Canes an early lead. It was a beautiful play by both players, and Tlusty continues to make his case for being a part of Carolina's future.

3. Rookie Justin Faulk continues to impress and make a push to for consideration for the Calder Trophy. He was second on the Canes in ice time (behind only partner Jay Harrison) with 23:15 and led all players with eight hits to help Carolina compete physically with the rough-and-tumble Ducks.

Number To Know

13 — Games in a row that Cam Ward has gone without allowing two goals in a period. The Islanders scored twice in the third on Jan. 3 to get the win, and since then Ward hasn't yielded more than one tally in a frame. Justin Peters, in his only start during that stretch, allowed two goals in the first and third periods in a 5-2 loss Jan. 7 to Nashville.

Plus

Eric Staal — Carolina's captain was at his best on the night. His go-ahead goal in the third was solely due to his forechecking efforts, and he had jump throughout the game. He now has 19 points in his past 17 games, and he was plus-1 for the third game in a row (although he still ranks last in the NHl with a minus-23).

Minus

Chad LaRose — In his first game back from injury, LaRose had his typical high-energy game going. But the offensive zone tripping call he took in the third with the Canes on a power play nullified a great chance to reclaim the lead. Now only if the same call had been made on Perry in OT ...

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