Not only did the Carolina Hurricanes lose their 12th game in a row on Saturday night, they lost their starting goalie as well. The team dropped the game to the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-2. But just when Caniacs thought things could not get any worse this season, franchise workhorse goalie Cam Ward got injured as Rick Nash skated into the crease and cut his leg.
The injury looked pretty serious as Ward left a trail of blood on the ice as he was helped gingerly from the rink. The goalie was kept in Columbus overnight and did not return home with the team but is expected to return on Sunday. The team will release more information as it becomes available.
The hits just keep on coming for this team as all star Eric Staal is presently injured as well as leading scorer Ray Whitney. Erik Cole broke a bone in his leg the second game of the season and missed a month and number one defenseman Joni Pitkanen missed significant time already as well.
The game itself was not much different from others the team has lost during this never ending winless streak.
Erik Cole gave the Hurricanes a first period lead as he buried a one timer off of a nice pass by Matt Cullen. Zach Boychuk helped create a turnover on the play with his pressure on the forecheck. It was Cole's first goal of the season.
The second period was scoreless as both Michael Leighton and Steve Mason made good saves. But the Canes forgot to come out with jump at the start of third period and the Blue Jackets scored three goals in the first three minutes and thirty one seconds.
Turnovers, bad defense, and poor passing, the team committed every hockey sin they could fit into that very short time frame. But they did continue to make a game of it as Tim Gleason clanged a shot off the pipe and into the net at 12:09 to make the score 3-2. The visitors could not muster any other prime chances though and skated off the ice as losers for the 14th time in 16 games this season.
The team will take Sunday off and go back to work on Monday as they prepare for a game against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
- The Hurricanes laid another goose egg while on the powerplay. They had a 5-on-3 advantage for over a minute at the beginning of the second period on a fresh sheet of ice but could not generate a decent scoring chance and looked pretty bad while doing it. They have yet to score while on a 5-on-3 this season.
- Tim Gleason had a turnover to Rick Nash for the Jacket's third goal, but made up for it with his perfect shot from the point later in the third. It was his first goal of the season. Gleason went the entire regular season last year without a goal, but scored a big one against New Jersey in the playoffs. The team wants him to shoot more often.
- Brandon Sutter and Zach Boychuk continued to shine. Boychuk earned his first career NHL point on Gleason's goal and helped on the forecheck before Cole's goal. Sutter almost had another goal.
- Stephane Yelle was credited with six hits, double the next closest Hurricane.
- Michael Leighton played pretty well, under the circumstances. He made 19 saves on 22 shots.
- Depending upon the severity of Ward's injury, Leighton might get a lot of work in the near future or the Canes might look elsewhere for help. If management decides to stick with Leighton, look for another youngster to be recalled from Albany to be his backup, probably Justin Peters.