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Hurricanes Drop Opener to Flyers, 2-0

Philadelphia had the jump on the Canes in the first period, built a lead while taking advantage of a long powerplay early in the second, and then held on the rest of the way to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, 2-0. 

The most telling stat for the Canes was the glaring 0-8 while they were with the man advantage.  They generated many chances, hit the post once or twice, whiffed on open nets, but could not put one past Ray Emery.  Actually, Eric Staal did put one in the net in the opening period, but the goal was disallowed because of a hand pass by Andrew Alberts.

The Flyers took 15 shots on goal in the period to 8 for the Canes, but Cam Ward was very sharp and turned back every opportunity.

The opening period was filled with action as Tim Gleason went after Flyer tough guy, Daniel Carcillo after the winger boarded Ray Whitney.  Gleason took Carcillo to the ice after a short bout, but he was called for instigating and was given a total of 17 penalty minutes.  (2 instigating, 5 fighting, 10 misconduct).  Carcillo had over 300 PIM's a couple of years ago when he played for Phoenix.

Late in the first period, Sergei Samsonov was called for a high sticking penalty which drew blood, and the Flyers took full advantage of the situation during the ensuing powerplay early in the second period. 

Jeff Carter scored the first goal 25 clicks into the period and Mike Richards got credit for the next one just 22 seconds later.  There was a lot of traffic in front of Cam Ward on both goals, something the Hurricanes had trouble doing consistently in front of Ray Emery

The Canes out-shot the Flyers the rest of the way, but the visitors went to defensive mode and did not pressure like they did in the first period.  All in all the Canes did not play a horrible game, but they need to improve a few things, primarily the powerplay.

Game Notes:

  • The team missed Joni Pitkanen's presence on the powerplay.  Tim Gleason filled in for him, but the team needs more skill on the point than what he and Aaron Ward seem to be able to provide.
  • Andrew Alberts had a good game and had the hit of the night when he leveled ex-teammate Jeff Carter.
  • Rod Brind`Amour missed a point blank try as did Sergei Samsonov.  Usually when that happens the puck was bouncing.  
  • Eric Staal played over 26 minutes and led all forwards with ice time.  He said after the game that he was not tiring out, but that is a lot of minutes for a center.  He hit the post on a try in the second period and had the goal taken away from him in the first.  Overall he had a very good game.
  • Tim Gleason was standing up for his teammate when he went after Carcillo, but he really put his team at a disadvantage when he was out of the game for 17 minutes.  Interestingly enough, the Flyers scored both goals while he was in the box.   Joe Corvo had to play over 30 minutes to compensate.
  • Aaron Ward led the Canes with three blocked shots.  The team had a total of eight while the Flyers had 17 blocked shots.  The Canes also had 20 missed shots, (shots not on net), while the Flyers had 14.  This means that Carolina attempted 15 more shots than the Flyers did, they just never made it to Ray Emery.  Give the Flyers defense credit where credit is due.
  • The Canes won 55% of faceoffs with Brind'Amour going 78%, (14 of 18).
  • Erik Cole led the team with four hits while Ruutu and Alberts had three each.  Ruutu had five shots on goal while Cole and Corvo had four each.
  • It's the third straight game that Ray Emery has played against Carolina without allowing a goal.  This dates back to 2007 when he was with Ottawa.  (two complete games and one partial.)

Carolina will be skating into a hornet's next on Saturday night when they take on the Bruins.  We will have more about that game Saturday afternoon.