Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 01/06/11 at 02:04 AM ET
On Wednesday night, Cam Ward and Henrik Lundqvist engaged in a goaltenders’ duel, which ended with a 2-1 overtime win for the home team Rangers. It’s the second straight overtime loss for the Hurricanes, but marks the fifth straight game in which they’ve gotten at least one standings point. They remain in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Montréal, against whom Carolina has one game in hand.
Carolina will have two divisional games coming up and will hit the halfway point of the season on Sunday with a home game against the Thrashers. By then, the Canes will hope to have leapfrogged Les Habitants into the inside of the playoff bubble.
Cam Ward has been very good for the last couple of weeks, but the Hurricanes are still having trouble giving him any run support.
Monday’s home game against Florida is a game that the Hurricanes should have won, but they failed to take advantage of a road-weary visitor and snatched only the one point. Not all was lost, though. Carolina overcame a two-goal deficit in the third period to force overtime and get something out of nothing. The two teams will meet again in Sunrise on Friday night. The Panthers, who lost in regulation tonight, will be on the front-end of a back-to back. They’re four points back of Carolina with one game in hand.
After two scoreless periods, the Hurricanes fell behind at 8:41, when defenseman Matt Gilroy knocked one in.
Eric Staal equalized the score at 13:46, assisted by defensemen Joe Corvo and Tim Gleason. It was the Captain’s 19th goal of the season, and he remains on a point-per-game pace. Although he finished behind write-in candidate Chad LaRose in the all-star final balloting, Staal will be the representative from the Hurricanes in the game.
Hopefully, Cam Ward, who has been playing extremely well, will be selected by hockey operations to be one of the six goaltenders for the ASG. Jeff Skinner, who leads all rookies in scoring and assists, will be one of the rookies participating in the skills competition.
Even though Ward has been in top form, I will expect Justin Peters to start one of the next two games. He needs some ice time, and hasn’t had any in the last six games.
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About Red and Black Hockey
David Lee is a restaurant manager with an unused degree in political science. He can be found at Carolina Hurricanes games, Scrabble tournaments and indie-rock shows. Sometimes, all in the same day.