The Winnipeg Jets outshot the Carolina Hurricanes in every period last night and especially dominated them on the shot charts in the final two periods as they defeated their division rivals, 3-1 at the MTS.
The Canes could only muster three shots on goal in the second period and five in the decisive third as the home team outshot them for the game, 38-18.
Give Brian Boucher credit for keeping Carolina close throughout the game as the newly acquired goalie made 35 saves on 37 shots. The good news for the Hurricanes is that their goaltending looks solid early.
The bad news is that even though it's just the preseason, some things look very familiar of what happened all too often last season. They allowed high quality scoring chances against, too many shots against, and their powerplay was not able to capitalize even though they had several opportunities.
It's certainly too early to panic because the Jets played most of their regulars and the Canes did not, but the team is now 1-3 in the preseason and it's probably time to put more emphasis on getting the regulars in game shape. Things don't get any easier on opening weekend against the Lightning and Capitals.
Expect a number of cuts to be announced today.
After a scoreless first period, Tim Brent would put the Canes ahead just 54 clicks into the second when he took a nice pass from Jiri Tlusty and put a nifty move on goalie Chris Mason.
Maurice has stated on more than one occasion that he is very happy with Tlusty's game and the Czech forward has most likely played his way onto the team.
The Hurricanes held onto the fragile one goal lead until midway through the third period when Evander Kane beat the Carolina defense to the front of the net. Patrice Cormier fed the young star a perfect pass at the tip of the crease which Kane chipped past Boucher to tie the score.
Just 64 seconds later, Blake Wheeler found an opening in the slot area and beat Boucher again, who really didn't have much of a chance on the play because of a nice screen by Andrew Ladd.
Now down 2-1, the Hurricanes tried to put a bit more pressure on in the Winnipeg zone, but really didn't come close to scoring. They failed to generate much of anything on a late powerplay chance and then pulled the goalie with about a minute left.
Kane would strike again though as he stole the puck at center ice and zipped in an empty netter to close things out.
You can expect to see more starters take the ice as the Hurricanes continue their exhibition season and take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night at the RBC.
- Carolina was 0-5 on the powerplay. They allowed one goal in six attempts on the PK.
- While the game didn't count and was meaningless as far as the standings were concerned, several players were trying to make a positive final impression on the coaching staff. But nothing of note probably happened to change the coaching staff's mind regarding players who might have been riding on the fence.
- If Derek Joslin looked a bit rusty at times, he has been fighting mono, missed much of camp, and this was his first game of the preseason.
- Brandon Sutter looks stronger so far this season. He could be growing into his body a bit more which should help his overall game. The coaching staff has indicated that they will play him on the powerplay more often this season, which should help his offensive numbers. Last year he only averaged 46 seconds of powerplay time per game, good for 14th on the team.
Jeff Skinner led the team with four shots on goal and looked extremely dynamic at times. He still has some learning to do in his own end though.
- Drayson Bowman and Jamie McBain were next with three shots each. McBain hit the post during one powerplay in the third period, then missed the net completely on his next attempt. His (double minor) high stick on Andrew Ladd, (who looked like he was biting his lip to make it bleed) was a key factor which led to the Jets first goal.
- The Canes also only had 12 missed shots, (compared to 18 for Winnipeg), which means that for whatever reason, they were not shooting the puck much at all. They did have 11 shots blocked for a grand total of 41 shots at the net while the Jets put on a total of 64, (38, 18, 8).
- Tlusty led the team with two blocked shots.
- The centers started out very well in the faceoff circle but faded down the stretch as they ended up winning 51%. (Sutter 60%, Nash 67%, Brent 50%, and Skinner 45%).