Game Analysis: Avalanche At Hurricanes

Justin Peters got plenty of help from his teammates in clearing out rebounds from in front of the net in Carolina’s 2-1 win over Colorado Tuesday. - Jamie Kellner

The Carolina Hurricanes earned their third win in four games, knocking off one of the NHL’s top teams in beating Colorado, 2-1, at PNC Arena Tuesday. Jordan Staal and Patrick Dwyer scored for the Canes, and Justin Peters tied a season-best with 33 saves.

The Carolina Hurricanes have bounced back from a five-game losing streak, getting their third win in four games Tuesday by topping the Central Division-leading Colorado Avalanche, 2-1. The win pushed the Canes to 7-7-4, good for 18 points and a tie for third in the Metropolitan Division.

Three Observations

1. Justin Peters continues to do enough to get by in net for the Canes. Peters was again not guilty of allowing any bad goals, and his teammates in front of him cleared countless rebounds that prevented the Avalanche from converting on second chances. It sounds like a broken record, but Peters is great at making the first stop but has a tendency to spit out lots of rebounds. With the defense focusing on boxing out the opposition and clearing loose pucks, the Hurricanes have compensated for Peters' biggest weakness and adjusted beautifully.

2. Was there a stranger sequence this season than the video review in the second period? Gabriel Landeskog beat Peters with a slap shot that grazed the outside of the goalpost and deflected into the mesh. The linesman then dropped the puck, resuming play, but the game was quickly stopped when the arena goal horn went off. The referees consulted the NHL’s video review office in Toronto to see if the puck had gone in through the net before eventually determining it had not. First off, this was the first time I've seen a play reviewed after the puck was dropped. Secondly, since when is the goal horn an alert for the on-ice officials? And finally, how could Toronto possibly think a puck could go through the net, hit the post, and deflect out of play? I'm no physics expert, but it reminds me of The Magic Loogie.

3. While Patrick Dwyer isn't your normal second line player, he has great chemistry with Jordan Staal and seems to be growing more with Nathan Gerbe. Carolina's shutdown line stole the show Tuesday, proving to be the best offensive and defensive line for either team all night. While Gerbe has generated nearly as many shots this season (59) and Staal (33) and Dwyer (34) combined, it was the latter two who were rewarded with goals against the Avs. For Dwyer, it was his first goal of the year and first game-winner since Dec. 28, 2010, against Toronto.

Number To Know

18-3 — Takeaway advantage for the Hurricanes over the Avalanche, led by four by Eric Staal. Staal ranks tied for sixth in the NHL with 21 takeways this season, while Andrej Sekera, who was credited with three of his own Tuesday, is fourth in the league and tops among defensemen with 22. Pavel Datsyuk leads the NHL with 30.

Plus

Jordan Staal — Carolina’s alternate captain, along with his two linemates, carried the load for the Hurricanes Tuesday night. Not only did Staal & Co. help neutralize the Avs' high-powered attack, but the trio all finished with two points by factoring in on both Canes goals. It was arguably the best effort of the season from both Staal and Dwyer, while Gerbe continues to be a difference maker for coach Kirk Muller.

Minus

Andrej Sekera — While Sekera and partner Justin Faulk finished plus-2 for the game, it was an off night for the former. Sekera was guilty of several turnovers, and he was bailed out by his teammates after he took a penalty late in the second period.

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