The Carolina Hurricanes jumped out to a 2-0 lead against one of the best teams in the NHL this young season and they were able to hang on as they defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 2-1 in front of 13,278 at the PNC Arena on Tuesday night.
It was the first road loss of the season for the Avs, (6-1-0) while the Canes have now earned seven points out of a possible eight in their last four games, (3-0-1).
Justin Peters made 33 saves, some of them sparkling, but his defense collapsed around him and cleared away numerous rebounds to help the goalie to an amazing .965 save percentage in his last four games, (110 saves of 114 shots faced).
Peters was named the game's first star.
Jordan Staal got the scoring started 12:47 into the game when he backhanded a Nathan Gerbe rebound past Semyon Varlamov. Patrick Dwyer started the play when he stole the puck behind the net and fed it to Gerbe.
The Hurricanes are now 4-0-1 when scoring first in a game. The Avs are 12-0-0 when scoring first, so the initial goal was huge in this one.
The Carolina second line would strike again early in the second. Staal would start this play and knock a puck along the boards to Gerbe, who saucered a perfect pass to Dwyer, who was attacking the net.
The Canes took the 2-0 lead just 26 seconds into the period and almost made it 3-0 when Jiri Tlusty just missed on a shot a few seconds later, but the Avs would come roaring back.
At 13:54 into the second period, the game's first penalty was called on Carolina and Colorado's deadly powerplay went to work. Less than a minute later, Paul Stastny scored on a rebound to make the score, 2-1.
The Avs found their mojo after that and poured it on, but Peters and the defense fought back. Carolina was called for another penalty before the end of the period, but they were able to kill it off and keep the slim lead going into the third.
The teams started off battling evenly in the final period, but once again Colorado gathered steam and put the pressure on. The Canes were able to keep the puck out of their net though and finally earned their first powerplay of the game when Eric Staal was held up while going for an empty net goal with just 32 seconds left.
The Hurricanes will now go for four wins out of five games in this homestand when they take on the Ducks Friday night.
- The Avs outshot the Canes 34-28 for the game and had 19 shots in the second period alone. The Canes outshot them 11-5 in the opening period. The first pick in this year's draft, Nathan MacKinnon, had nine shots on goal, missed the net four times, and had three shots blocked for a total of 16 shots attempted. Carolina was led by Gerbe with five shots on goal.
- Gerbe also had two primary assists and had a very good night overall. He now is tied with Eric Staal and leads the team with nine points.
- Once again Manny Malhotra had a team high 75% faceoff win percentage, (15 of 20). The team was at 58%.
- Ron Hainsey had a team high 23:50 of ice time. Eric Staal had a team high four takeaways.
- Tuomo Ruutu, Jay Harrison, and Brett Bellemore had four hits each to lead the Canes. The team had 23 hits to 38 for the Avs.