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.
- 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.