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Duchene Too Much For Carolina: Avs 4, Hurricanes 2

Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist while leading the Avs to a 4-2 win over Carolina on Friday night.

The first goal of the game went in off Erik Johnson's skate
The first goal of the game went in off Erik Johnson's skate
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes got off to another slow start in the opening period on Friday night and could never recover as the Colorado Avalanche jumped out to a lead and never looked back while topping the Canes, 4-2 at Pepsi Arena in Denver.

The Hurricanes rank 29th in first period scoring, (ahead of only Buffalo), and fell behind 2-0 again in this one before getting on the board early in the second period.

Matt Duchene scored twice for the home team, made a beautiful assist, and was dancing through the Carolina zone as Colorado's leading scorer added to his totals on this night.

The Avs outshot the Canes 18-8 in the first period alone and scored twice, first when Erik Johnson guided a puck in the net with his skate.   After a review it was deemed a good goal.

Then with 2:27 left in the period, Duchene made a spin move, losing Riley Nash and beat Justin Peters with a beauty of a shot to make the score 2-0.

The Hurricanes would light the lamp quickly in in the second period when Jordan Staal made a perfect pass to Drayson Bowman.  With just 12 seconds gone in the period, Bowman scored his first of the season to make it 2-1.

But after their quick start, the Hurricanes could still only muster six shots on goal in the period and were outshot again, 8-6 in the second.

Midway through the period, Duchene would make a beautiful pass to the front of the net, Alex Tanguay made no mistake, and  the home team was back up by two goals.

The Hurricanes were trying to kill a penalty by Justin Faulk to open the third, but Duchene was at it again as he skated around Jordan Staal and beat Peters top shelf with a highlight reel sequence to make it 4-1.

At this point coach Kirk Muller reinvented the lines and put Eric Staal on wing with Jordan Staal playing center and Alexander Semin on the other wing.  The threesome got close a few times but never got on the board.

At 2:40 into the third, Andrej Sekera took a pass from Jiri Tlusty and scored his first goal of the season to make it 4-2, but that would be the end of the scoring for either team.  It was a nice hustle play by Tlusty as he won a puck battle along the boards and created the play before passing it.

The Canes put a lot of pressure on in the third and outshot the home team 16-8, but Semyon Varlamov had the answer and extended his personal record to 4-0-3 against Carolina.

The Canes will return home and will face the Pittsburgh Penguins at the PNC on Monday night.

Game Notes:

  • Radek Dvorak left the game early with a lower body injury.  His status was not reported.
  • Dvorak took a delay of game penalty early into a penalty kill in the first period, but the Canes were able to kill off the long 5-on-3.
  • The Canes went 0-3 on the powerplay, although they got close in the third as Semin rang the pipes with one shot and was robbed on another in close.
  • Carolina was outshot for the game, 34-30.  Peters made 30 saves on those 34 shots.
  • The captain's five game scoring streak came to an end.  He had three shots on goal, but finished 39% in the circle again and was (-2) on the night.
  • Semin had a team high five shots on goal.
  • Ryan Murphy had a team high three blocked shots.
  • Don't look now but the Canes were knocked out of second place and were over-taken by New York Islanders after they beat the Penguins tonight. (Both teams have 11 points but the Islanders have a game in hand).  The Capitals and Blue Jackets can also both jump over the Canes as they are only one point back with a game in hand.