At the beginning of the season, Dan Ellis did not have a hockey team. The Charlotte Checkers offered him a tryout and he was glad to have the chance. But after he played a solid stretch of hockey during the lockout for the Checkers, the Hurricanes traded away Brian Boucher and signed Ellis to a one year deal and so far they are very happy they did.
Ellis earned his second win of the season with a 1-0 shutout over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night at the PNC Arena in front of a sell out crowd of 18,680. After making 40 saves in his first win last week in Buffalo, he made another 33 saves in this one.
After the game, he gave all the credit to his defense.
"They played a perfect game in front me," he said.
The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead in this game late in the first period when Alexander Semin skated the puck inside of the blueline and sent a pass/shot toward the front of the net. Eric Staal was able to get a stick on it and chipped the puck over red hot goalie Craig Anderson.
For the first time this season, the Canes had a lead at the end of the first period.
The Senators would have their chances in this one, but the Canes played excellent while shorthanded and even killed one four minute powerplay opportunity in the second period when Jamie McBain was called for a double minor for a high sticking infraction.
Most of this game was pretty evenly played as both defenses and goalies were in good form throughout. Drayson Bowman just missed scoring an empty netter at the end of the game as time ran out a fraction of a second before the puck crossed the goal line.
Coach Kirk Muller was extremely happy with his team's effort and said Ellis was taking advantage of the opportunity afforded to him, but the coach would not commit to who might be his starting goalie when asked about tomorrow night's game.
Before this game, the Hurricanes led the league averaging 38 shots per game, but the Sens were second in the league with a 33.3 per game average. The Canes ended up getting 35 shots in this one, to 33 for Ottawa.
Carolina will next travel to Philadelphia to begin a six game road trip starting Saturday night.
- As mentioned above, the Canes had 35 shots on goal. They were led by Semin with five.
- Eric Staal now has points in four straight games.
- Justin Faulk looked no worse for wear and had a team high 25 minutes of ice time. Joni Pitkanen was next high with over 23 minutes.
- Carolina had 19 blocked shots led by Jay Harrison and Tim Gleason with four each.
- Muller played all four lines a bit more than usual. Low man with ice time was Chad LaRose with 6:57
- Coming into the game, Carolina had a league low 28 giveaways. They had seven last night.
- Attendance has been a pleasant surprise so far as the team has averaged over 18,000 per game through four games this season.
- The team won 56% of their faceoffs: J Staal, (40%), E Staal (61%), Jokinen (85%) Brent (54%)