Once again, the Carolina Hurricanes had a disappointing third period and once again they came up on the losing side of things as the Phoenix Coyotes defeated them, 4-3 in front of 15,848 on Wednesday night at the RBC.
The Canes had a 3-1 lead past the midway point of the game and seemed to be in control, but the visitors scored three straight goals -- including two in the final period -- and then cruised to victory.
In this particular contest, the Hurricanes outshot their opponents in every period, but that still was not enough to get the team over the hump, (14-8, 12-6, 11-5).
Ray Whitney would start off the scoring with a blast from the point on a powerplay, but Tuomo Ruutu came right back and knocked in a loose puck in the paint to tie things up. The goal came right after a powerplay had expired.
In the second period, the Hurricanes scored twice, first on an Andreas Nodl shot which hit the pipe and went in, then on a Jiri Tlusty shot, which looked more like a pass to the front of the net.
But Carolina could not hold the lead as the Coyotes answered just a minute and change after the Tlusty goal. Then of course, the two goals in the third sealed the deal.
- The Canes outshot the Yotes 37-19 for the game and were led by Jay Harrison with eight shots. Harrison also had seven attempts blocked.
- The team was only credited with 13 hits, also led by Harrison with three.
- Eric Staal took responsibility for a bad game afterward, and his stats certainly agreed. He had a team worst -3, which brings his league worst rating to -21.
- Riley Nash saw 13:02 of playing time and was eventually moved up to the first line with Staal and Bowman. Kirk Muller said after the game that he wanted to see Staal on wing and he was impressed with the rookie's game. Still, Nash was on the ice for some key draws late, and lost them. He went 3-10 for the game in the circle. He had zero shots on goal and zero hits, to go with two takeaways.
- Not only did the Canes get 37 shots on goal, the Coyotes also blocked 27 shots. Carolina also missed the net 18 times. The home team dominated puck possession for much of this one.
- Staal's ice time dropped from previous games down to just over 20 minutes. Justin Faulk had a team high 24:43.
- The team won 43% of their faceoffs. (Staal 50%, Sutter 59%, Jokinen 43%, Nash 23%)
- Carolina could not take advantage of a team which had just played the night before. Cam Ward allowed four goals on just 19 shots which keeps his save percentage under .899.
- For what it's worth, there were 12 different organizations scouting the game.