Red and Black Hockey
Entries with the tag: New York Islanders
A week ago tonight, I gave last
rites to the Hurricanes after their home loss to the Lightning. They were five points back of eighth place with a tough week ahead of them. Since then, all the Canes have done is win three straight games while Buffalo and the Rangers lost. Suddenly, the Canes are just one point behind the eighth place Rangers and very much revitalized. On Saturday, the Canes got another huge win on the road against a hot Islanders team.
Carolina was behind 2-1 after 40 minutes, and this was exactly where the Isles wanted to be. They’re the third hottest team in the league since Christmas and they’d only lost one regulation game all season when leading after two. Joe Corvo, Erik Cole and Eric Staal had plenty to say about that as they each scored in the third to give the Canes a 4-2 win. Corvo had three points on the night and Cole had another game-winner. He’s been Mr. Clutch in the second half and is looking more like the Cole we knew from before the injury.
As I write, the Caps have just forced overtime against the Sabres, so Buffalo will be at least two points ahead of Carolina going into tomorrow’s enormous matchup at the RBC Center.
On Friday night, the Hurricanes had to come from behind to beat the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. That gives them 76 standings points, and crucially, 29 “Regulation or Overtime Wins”. They are now tied with Buffalo in standings points and ROW, but the Sabres have two games in hand. Carolina is idle until Tuesday, when they will host the last place Senators. This weekend, the Sabres have home games against Atlanta and Nashville. The Canes players and fans are hoping that the Sabres lose both games in regulation. Carolina, by virtue of earning more points versus the Sabres (four) than the Sabres have earned against the Canes (three) would have the tiebreaker and would jump back into eighth place.
After the Senators game, the Canes have a back-to-back home-and-home with the Lightning, a road game in DC and a home game against the Habs. During that same stretch,the Sabres will play at Montréal, back-to-back home games against Florida and New Jersey and finally at Toronto. That stretch certainly plays in the Sabres favor, so the Canes will have to steal some points.
Once again, Cam Ward was great, and for the first time in a while, the Hurricanes showed some fight. When they were pushed against the ropes, down a goal late in the third, they answered back, forced overtime, and won it the way they needed to—during timed play.
On Wednesday, Carolina played their final game before the All-Star break and got a much needed 4-2 win over the Islanders behind two Eric Staal goals. Unfortunately, the Thrashers were simultaneously shutting out the Capitals 1-0, preserving their wafer-thin lead over the Canes for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
Carolina went 8-4-2 in January and are still out of the playoff picture, but they’re just one point out and hold two games in hand against the Thrashers.
After the break, Carolina has a tough road, as nine of 13 games in February are against teams currently in the playoff picture. Meanwhile, just one of Atlanta’s 11 February opponents is currently in the playoffs. Atlanta and Carolina face each other twice in what will be a very important month.
For now, Carolina can be happy with the way they played in January and specifically the hot play of Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner. Both will be featured players in this weekend’s ASG festivities.
Yes, friends. The goal horn at the RBC Center does work.
The Hurricanes’ last two home games were against the red hot keepers Brent Johnson and Michal Neuvirth. Tonight, they had the prvilege of playing against the struggling Rick DiPietro of the Islanders. On Saturday, he gave up six goals on 29 shots against the Flyers. On Wednesday, he was even worse against Carolina, giving up seven goals on 32 shots. This was just the elixir the Canes needed, as they cured their home woes with a decisive 7-2 win.
Rookie Jeff Skinner was one of six goal scorers for the Canes, and he added one assist. 24-year old rookie Jon Matsumoto, playing in just his second NHL game, scored his first two goals.
In a season where not much has gone right, the Canes can be happy that they’ve played very well in the 2010 portion of this season. They can also be happy that with a 2-0-2 record against the Islanders, they earned six of eight points in that season series. It’s not much, but it’s something.
They can also be happy that young goaltender Justin Peters, who made his NHL debut on Saturday, has a bright future ahead of him. He made 34 saves to earn his first big league win. He looked confident in nets, even if he looked shaky in the post-game interview. Cam Ward is out with a back injury, and although we don’t know the specifics, I’d be surprised if he comes back before the Olympic break. Peters might get one of the three starts before the break, and possibly more after the break. Depending on Cam’s exam on Monday, and depending on the Hurricanes’ desire to put him back out there, it might be next season before Ward suits back up. Either way, the Canes are going to have to find a way to get Cam Ward more rest than he’s been getting over the past three seasons.
On Friday night, the Hurricanes dropped their 14th consecutive game, even if they managed to force overtime. Since October 9, they have gone 0-10-4. However, the news isn’t all bad.
On Wednesday, the Canes overcame a two goal deficit only to lose 5-2. On Friday, they overcame a horrible first period in which they fell behind 3-0. Tim Gleason took a really dumb double minor early in the game which ended up spotting the Islanders two goals, but it was his goal late in the third that forced overtime. The Canes were 14 seconds away from going to shootout when defenseman Bryan Rodney, recently called up from Albany, committed a bad turnover deep in the Canes zone. This led directly to the winning goal and although the Canes looked like they would end the horrible streak, they added one more tick mark to the locker room wall.
The good news is that some of the forwards are starting to play well. With five (3/2) points in his last seven games, Brandon Sutter has looked like a Sutter, and Tuomo Ruutu is starting to assert himself. And for only the second time in this dry spell, the Canes scored more than two goals. That’s a start.
The Hurricanes continued their annual late October extended road trip in desperate need of a win. The Islanders were a winless team, but have been playing good hockey. Unfortunately for the Canes, this was the night the Isles finally got into the win column. After falling behind 3-1, Carolina mounted a third period rally to tie the game, which was ultimately settled in the shootout. The home team converted all three of their shootout attempts, while the Hurricanes succeeded just once.
It was a night to celebrate Ray Whitney, who was playing in his 1000th NHL game and his 300th as a Cane. Unlike last Wednesday, when he lit the lamp twice, he failed to light the lamp this time. Eric Staal got off the schneid, but it wasn’t enough to lead the Canes to victory.
On Tuesday night, the Islanders didn’t bother showing up to the RBC Center, as the Hurricanes cruised to an embarrassingly easy 9-0 victory. In fact,. the Isles only mustered 12 shots on goal for the entire game, compared to Carolina’s 57. The differential of 45 SOG is a new franchise record.
Eric Staal notched his fourth hat trick of the season, scoring three goals and adding one assist. This was the “one more big game” that I’ve been promising out of him. Tuomo Ruutu scored two. Dwight Helminen, Scott Walker, Rod Brind’Amour and Frantisek Kaberle scored one each.
Cam Ward earned his 39th win and his fifth shutout of the season. The former sets a new franchise record.
This is Carolina’s ninth straight win, which ties a mark that was set twice during the 2005-06 Cup-winning season. It is also a franchise best twelfth consecutive home victory.
On Friday night, the Hurricanes took care of their own business and also got some outside help to get them that much closer to qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs. They needed a come-from-behind 5-4 win against the lowly Islanders, but they got it done. The outside help came in the form of a regulation loss by the Sabres, who still have two games in hand on the Canes but are now seven points back. The idle Florida Panthers have two games in hand and are three points behind Carolina, who has temporarily climbed into sixth place. More importantly, though, the Kitties trail Carolina by three in the wins column
Carolina has now won seven home games in a row and will conclude a three-game homestand on Saturday night against the dreaded Capitals.
On Saturday, the Hurricanes needed some big-time heroics from goaltender Cam Ward to hang on to a 4-3 victory. Although he was on the bench for the two previous games, he wasn’t the least bit rusty. He made 57 saves, including a stop on a penalty shot with less than one second to play in regulation. He was easily the game’s first star by anyone’s account. Except, of course, the Islanders radio network, which picks the “official” three stars. Somehow, they left Ward off the card entirely. Although the game ended well, it wasn’t all pie and cake for Carolina.
The Hurricanes got off to a good start, pushing off to a 2-0 lead early in the first. The last time the Hurricanes led a game 2-0 was March 28 of last season in a 7-1 win over the Thrashers. Throughout the second and third periods, the Canes committed one penalty after another, putting themselves perpetually on the PK. The good news is that the defense responded well to that, killing seven of eight penalties. But there was bad news They gave up a shorthanded goal, and they lost two players to injury.