The Carolina Hurricanes lost to the Boston Bruins last night 3-2 after a shoot-out which the Canes would probably like to forget. They did have a very memorable ending in the last minute or so of regulation though!
The Hurricanes were down to their final minute and 15 seconds in the game and were losing to the Bruins 2-0. At that time, Tim Gleason started something by putting a hard hit on Marc Savard which got Milan Lucic's attention. Lucic and Gleason stared each other down after the play and finally threw down. The tough Carolina defenseman got the better of the Bruin and not only gave the fans something to cheer about, but also showed his team-mates that he hadn't packed it in yet for the night. It turns out that neither did they.
After pulling the goalie for the extra attacker, Ray Whitney scored about 12 seconds later to cut the Bruins lead in half. Just 20 clicks after that, Erik Cole tied the score to give the Hurricanes some hope for victory when the game seemed all but over less than a minute earlier. The goalie had been pulled for Cole's goal as well.
The Hurricanes seemed to have the advantage during the overtime period, but couldn't get another shot past Tim Thomas, who was busy, if not spectacular during the entire contest. Thomas stopped 45 shots, but I wouldn't characterize the majority of them as being top notch or high quality.
Matt Cullen and Sergei Samsonov were the shooters for Carolina in the shoot-out and both missed. (Cullen hit the post). After Marco Sturm missed the net, Phil Kessel and household name David Krejci both beat Cam Ward to seal the deal for Boston.
Some observations from Bubba's Blogger's Box....
While the Hurricanes poured 47 shots at Tim Thomas, they were usually not in position for rebounds and they weren't creating much havoc in front of the net. They did crash the net in the last minute though when they scored their two goals.
I thought that Carolina played pretty well and had fairly good energy considering the illness in the dressingroom and the fact that it was the 2nd game of a back-to-back. The timing seemed a bit off on some plays that barely didn't connect. It just seemed like "one of those nights" until the ending.
Trevor Letowski had to leave the game early and required use of a bucket on the bench because of an upset stomach during the opening period.
Special teams let Carolina down and cost the team the win. They allowed 2 power-play goals by the Bruins and went 0-5 on the power-play themselves. While the puck movement on the power-play looked good at times, they still need to take advantage of those opportunities to win these games.
Aaron Ward showed no love for his ex team-mates and got a bit rough with Glen Wesley on one play. This is typical of Ward's play though, he usually plays with a physical presence.
Cam Ward looked good most of the game and made a few high grade saves, but he still looks shaky on shoot-outs and needs to continue to work on them. Ever since Cam won his first career shoot-out against the Penguins back in the 2006 season, he has yet to win another one one. According to NHL.com, his shoot-out record for this year and last is 0-6. This year he has only stopped 1 of 6 shots for a save percentage of .176. Last year he stopped 8 of 14 shots for a save percentage of .571. Good thing the Canes aren't in very many shoot-outs.
All in all, I thought that it was a decent game by all concerned. The Bruins played with intensity and really needed that game as well. Both teams should be commended. Several fans left early and missed the best part of the game. Shame!!
Carolina is taking the day off today hoping that will be the best medicine in preparation for the Thrashers on Thursday night. We will see.