The Carolina Hurricanes have had some fast starts recently but basically watched the St. Louis Blues jump out to an early 2-0 lead before fighting back to make a game of it and then losing in a 3-2 shootout in front of 13,000 plus fans on Friday night at the PNC Arena.
Trying to wake up his sleeping team, coach Bill Peters replaced Anton Khudobin with Cam Ward, right after the second goal was scored, just 3:25 into the game. In the post game press conference, Peters said that his teammates were apologizing to Khudobin before he could even get off the ice.
"Replacing the goalie was obviously not a reflection on the goalkeeping," the coach said.
Ryan Reaves opened the scoring on a blistering shot at 1:48 into the game and David Backes made it 2-0, a minute and change later. Both shooters were wide open. The Blues hit the post shortly after that and the score could have been worse.
Ward came into the game and his team eventually tightened up play in front of him. He ended up not allowing a single goal until the shootout when he was beaten by Kevin Shattenkirk for the winner. He finished making 29 saves on 29 shots, officially for the game.
As the Canes fought back, Justin Faulk would score his 10th of the season on a nicely placed shot from the point 10:57 into the period. Brad Malone was screening the goalie on the play and he also earned an assist.
The Canes would tie it up in the second period on a another shot from the point, this time by Ryan Murphy. It was a powerplay goal, with Jordan Staal in front of the net. It was also Murphy's first goal of the season.
Both teams battled pretty evenly, although the Blues did get a few good chances in the third and had the better of the play. Ward was equal to the task though and made the saves when he had to.
Ken Hitchcock thought the better team won.
"We out-chanced them badly in the third period and I thought we played a real smart third period. I thought that even though it went to a shootout, this was a game we deserved to win," said the coach.
Both teams got three shots in the overtime, but the extra period finished scoreless. Then the teams prepared for the shootout.
Victor Rask started things for Carolina but was stopped, then Ward stopped Olympic hero, T.J. Oshie.
Chris Terry made a very pretty move but hit the post, then Shattenkirk would score at the other end.
Eric Staal took the final shot and was stopped as the Blues won their second game of the season by shootout over Carolina.
Both teams entered this affair hot and the Blues continued their stretch which is now, 9-1-1.
The Canes quickly travel to New York to battle the Rangers on Saturday night.
- The Canes were outshot, 32-28, but it took nine minutes for the team to get their first shot on goal. Faulk led the way with six.
- Faulk also had three hits, three takeaways, and one blocked shot.
- Carolina was credited with 37 hits and this was a physical game. Brad Malone and Elias Lindholm each had five.
- The team killed the only powerplay they faced, now having allowed only one goal in the last 41 tries against them.
- Apparently, Peters was not happy with Lindholm early in the game and moved him to the fourth line. I asked him about it after the game and he said.."Everyone has to come ready to play, and a couple of guys were not ready.". Lindholm was on the ice for the first goal, but not the second. He finished with 12:53 of ice time for the game.
- The team had 25 blocked shots, led by Chris Terry with four.