Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joe Corvo scored the first goal of the game, then was cut badly in the back of his leg after completing a check and was taken to a local hospital for attention as the Hurricanes lost yet another game, this time to the Washington Capitals, 3-2. Team officials did not release any specific information about the injury, but they looked grim talking about the ailment after the game.
Corvo not only led the Carolina blueline in scoring, he was one of the league leaders in average time on the ice. More information about his injury will be released on Tuesday.
The Canes had another scary moment later in the first period when Alex Ovechkin took out Tim Gleason with a knee on knee collision. Ovechkin lined up Gleason, but as Gleason made a nice move to avoid the hit, OV appeared to lead with his knee causing a nasty collision.
For awhile Carolina was playing with just four defensemen, but Gleason toughed it out and came back to the game. Paul Maurice said afterward that the blueliner knew the team was in a bad situation and came back and played as best he could, even though he was obviously hurting.
"He's going to be hurting tomorrow for sure" the coach said.
In the meantime, Ovechkin, who had to be helped off the ice himself, could be facing a suspension. The refs awarded him a five minute kneeing penalty along with a game misconduct. It's unknown how injured he might be.
The Hurricanes failed to score on the ensuing five minute powerplay, but keep in mind they had just lost two of their point men in Gleason and Corvo. Aaron Ward said that the team was still a bit shaken immediately afterward, facing the possible loss of two of their best defensemen and not knowing how serious the injuries were.
Regardless, the fact that the team failed to score during that powerplay was a momentum killer and the Caps took advantage by scoring shortly after the kill, taking a 2-1 lead. The home team ended up 1 for 7 with the man advantage.
In the second period, Nicklas Backstrom faked out goalie Michael Leighton and lured him out of the net. Then he did a spin and fired the puck into the empty net. No word where the Carolina defense was as the crafty Capital had all kinds of time and space on the play.
The score remained 3-1 until the very end when Matt Cullen would score a desperation goal with just 16 seconds left on the clock. The Canes out-shot and out-chanced the Caps in two out of three periods but could not solve Jose Theodore, who had an excellent game.
The team now has a few days off now and will wait until Saturday afternoon for their next game which will be against the Vancouver Canucks at the RBC.
- Joni Pitkanen had over 33 minutes of ice time but finished with a -2. He had four shots on goal and two hits.
- Rod Brind`Amour only played seven plus minutes but also finished with a -2. He had zero shots on goal and one hit.
- Aaron Ward finished with a -1 but had six hits and two blocked shots.
- The Canes out-hit the Caps 45-21 and were led by Niclas Wallin with seven. Tuomo Ruutu had six.
- Carolina had 40 shots on goal led by Eric Staal's nine. Staal has got to get unglued if the Canes are to have any viable success but he still does not seem 100% healthy.
- Brandon Sutter, Jussi Jokinen, and Matt Cullen were the only (plus) players for the Canes. They each finished +1.
- Tim Gleason picked up a game misconduct himself for pulling Tyler Sloan off of Eric Staal and challenging him to a fight. I didn't see any punches thrown, but the refs must of thought it was flagrant enough to deserve a "third man in" penalty.
There will be a lot of talk around the league on Tuesday about the latest Ovechkin transgression. Most outside of Washington seem to think it's time for some type of suspension, although many from the Nation's Capital have already come to his defense. The question is, how many of these types of hits does he get away with before someone really gets hurt?
If you have not seen the replay yet, here is the You Tube. There is some great followup on Puck Daddy here. If you look at the still frame of Ovechkin's extended leg in Sean Leahy's article, even the blindest of the MVP's fans should have a hard time honestly condoning that hit.