The Carolina Hurricanes piled shot after shot on the Chicago Blackhawks net Friday night, but Scott Darling was up to the challenge, and the Canes were left frustrated in a 2-1 loss to the Hawks at United Center.
The Hurricanes got the game’s first power play, as Jeff Skinner drew a call on a drive to the net. The man-advantage situation produced several good chances, but no goal.
Shortly after that power play, Chicago got the game’s first goal as Jonathan Toews finished off a tic-tac-toe passing play with Vinnie Hinostroza and Marian Hossa.
The ‘Canes would get another opportunity on the power play as Artem Anisimov went to the box for holding, but Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling made several nice saves as the power play wound down to preserve his team’s advantage.
The Hurricanes had several good opportunities to find the equalizer as the period drew to a close, but they couldn’t. The first period ended with the Blackhawks ahead 1-0. Shots at the end of the frame were 19-9 in favor of the Hurricanes.
The ‘Canes were slow out of the dressing room in the second as an erroneous change allowed Patrick Kane a breakaway chance on Cam Ward, who came up with a stop as Kane failed to elevate the puck enough on his backhand.
Carolina then had to kill off a boarding penalty as Jay McClement took a seat for two minutes. Staal nearly found a shorthanded goal on the rush, but Darling came up big again. The rest of the penalty was killed without incident.
The period went on with Ward bailing out the team on a couple more occasions. The ‘Canes would get another chance on the power play, but they again failed to connect. They were promptly answered by Artemi Panarin converting on a power play of Chicago’s own as he ripped a wrister past Ward to make it 2-0.
The Hurricanes would get one back though, as Ty Rattie got his first point in a Carolina uniform when he assisted on Victor Rask’s goal to make it 2-1 in the dying seconds of the period.
The third period went by largely uneventfully. Ward made some saves to keep the deficit at one, and the offense generated some decent scoring opportunities but nothing that ultimately threatened the Chicago advantage.
The Hurricanes lifted Ward in favor of the extra skater at about the 1:50 mark, but they were unable to generate any sort of real chance to tie the game, and the Blackhawks went on to win 2-1.
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