The Carolina Hurricanes beat the Vancouver Canucks last night, 3-1 in an entertaining and surprisingly fight filled game at the RBC Center. The win gives the Canes a 5-1-3 record, meaning that they have earned points in 8 of the 9 games they have played so far this year. Cam Ward has still yet to be defeated in regulation play. So far, so good boys!
Carolina started off with a lot of jump right from the get-go and had 13 shots on Roberto Luongo before the 1st period was half way over! The period ended scoreless though and fans were a bit nervous until Cory Stillman finally beat Luongo with a powerplay goal at the 5 minute mark of the 2nd period. The Hurricanes controlled play for most of the game, and jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Rod Brind'Amour found Chad LaRose with a beautiful tape to tape pass which sprung the little jitterbug for a break-away attempt. LaRose made no mistake as he slipped one by Luongo, top shelf. To their credit the Canucks didn't give up though, despite being tired, and ruined Cam Ward's shutout bid with a Brendan Morrison goal at 13:19 in the 3rd. The Canes seemed to take the foot off the gas for a bit but woke up after the goal and started controlling play again. Near the end of the game when Luongo attempted to leave the ice for an extra attacker, Carolina kept on the pressure, forcing the goalie into confusion as he didn't know whether to leave the ice or stay. He got caught half way to the bench in no man's land when the extra attacker had already taken the ice, forcing the refs to call a penalty. Ray Whitney finished the scoring for the Canes on an empty net, powerplay goal. That powerplay goal by the way, gave the Canes the NHL lead in that category!
There were 3 fights in the game, which pleasantly surprised me. I didn't realize that Vancouver was that physical. Brad Isbister was especially chippy all night long. Think he might have been upset for being cut during last year's traning camp? In any event, it was nice to see the boys sticking up for each other on the ice. I guess they answered my earlier question, if the team was "tough enough". They certainly were last night! Newcomers Keith Aucoin and Ryan Bayda didn't get on the scoresheet, but didn't make any major mistakes that I noticed. Aucoin only had about 3 minutes of ice time. All in all it was a good game with good effort and a good result! I thought that the defense played very well, especially Mike Commodore and Tim Gleason. Nice job boys!