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Still Winless On The Road: Stars 2, Canes 0

The Carolina Hurricanes had another disappointing game on the road Monday night and lost to the Dallas Stars, 2-0.  The Canes remain the only team in the NHL that has not won a single game on the road.  The team is once again tied with Toronto for last place in the league.

The visitors came out flat in the first period and were dominated at times by the home team.  They were out-chanced 8-1, out-shot 11-8, and took three minor penalties in that opening period.  More importantly, it seemed like Dallas kept the puck in the Carolina zone most of the time.  The score was 1-0 when the 20 minutes was over, but it could have been much worse.

Manny Legace deserves kudos for fine play and was given third star of the game.

Dallas scored both of their goals on powerplay opportunities. The Canes on the other hand were 0-5 with the advantage and had almost a minute and a half of a 5 on 3 that they squandered.  While most other teams seem to be able to form a triangle around the crease area, then attempt to pass the puck to openings across the crease, the Canes just pass the puck around the perimeter over and over until someone decides to fire a puck on net from the outside. 

Using that strategy, not surprisingly the team has not had much luck with the two man advantage all season long.

The Canes thought they tied the game up in the second period when Ray Whitney used his skate to kick the puck to his stick, and guide it to the net.  The puck beat Marty Turco and was called a goal by the on-ice officials, but replays apparently showed that the puck never touched his stick and it was ruled no goal.  Whitney was upset after the game because he felt that the rule stated that you had to lift your skate off the ice to institute a kicking motion. 

Regardless, the score remained 1-0. 

Brad Richards scored early in the third during another powerplay when his shot hit Joe Corvo and flipped over Manny Legace into the net. 

Carolina took a total of five minor penalties in the third period alone, more or less killing any chance they had at a comeback.

Next up for the Canes is another roadie, this time in Anaheim on Wednesday night.

Game Notes:

  • Manny Legace made 27 saves on 29 shots and deserved better than this outcome, but it seems like we said the same thing regarding Cam Ward a few times earlier in the season as well.
  • Tuomo Ruutu left the game early with a lower body injury.  He had 11:44 of ice time.
  • Tim Gleason and Brenden Morrow both got fighting majors just 25 seconds into the game.  The Dallas captain was sending an early message to his team, that this was going to be a physical affair and they followed his lead.  
  • Dallas out-shot Carolina in every period and ended up with a 29-22 advantage.
  • This is the fourth time Carolina has been shutout so far this year.  They were shutout once the entire season last year.
  • The Canes were called for a total of nine minor penalties, including two, too many men on the ice calls.  The Stars were called for five minors. 
  • Carolina was credited with 45 hits, led by Chad LaRose with six.  Tim Gleason and Brandon Sutter each had five.
  • Rod Brind'Amour was back on the ice for powerplay time, (2:11), after having minimal powerplay time the last two games. 
  • The team had 17 giveaways led by Joe Corvo and Niclas Wallin who each had three.  
  • Joe Corvo led the team with five shots on goal.
  • Erik Cole was called for two selfish crosschecking penalties late in the game, negating any possible chance for comeback.  Check that, the first one was technically a high stick, but it was delivered in a crosschecking fashion.

It's difficult to say much positive about the game.  The team will have to put it behind them and play much better in California.