Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 11/02/08 at 04:10 PM ET
On Saturday, the Hurricanes returned home after a long trip to face a team just starting a long road trip and deep into a losing streak. Unfortunately for the Canes, Edmonton was able to put an end to their losing ways and the visitors came out with a 3-1 win. In the process, Canes forward Matt Cullen joined the injury list. Today is Cully’s 32nd birthday, but he’ll have to spend it in the pressbox with five other injured Canes.
Ray Whitney opened the scoring for the Canes with a breakaway goal at 6:35. Tim Gleason set it up beautifully with a looooooong pass from deep in the Carolina zone to the Edmonton blue line. Tuomo Ruutu got the second assist.
Erik Cole made his return to Raleigh by hitting everything in sight. He was credited with eight hits, most of them coming in the first period. Although everyone was excited to see him back in the RBC Center, by the end of the first we were all pretty tired of him hitting everything. At one point late in the first, he even drew a few boos for an unnecessary hit on Anton Babchuk near the bench area as he was making a change.
Cam Ward made some nice stops and got some good luck in the first, but it ended with Carolina up 1-0.
Shawn Horcoff tied the game on an unassisted power play goal at 6:45 of the second. His shot from the right circle clanged off the left post, then Cam Ward’s equipment and into the goal.
Ethan Moreau put the visitors up for good at 18:32 of the third on a freaky shot from the lower part of the left circle. His shot trickled through Ward, who got his paddle on it, but the redirection went in the goal instead of towards the corner. Again, this goal was unassisted.
Carolina nearly tied the game with about 45 seconds to play. There was a goal line scrum and the puck appeared to be either in the net or under Steve Staios, but ultimately, the call was no goal and no penalty shot.
Moreau potted an empty net goal at 19:26 to salt the thing away.
At some point in the third period, Matt Cullen injured his leg and won’t be able to go today against the Leafs. Pat Dwyer has been recalled from Albany to fill out the roster. Going into this 5:00 twilight game, the Hurricanes have lost 38 man-games to injury. Brandon Sutter (concussion), Joni Pitkänen (knee), Frantisek Kaberle (leg), Scott Walker (hand), and Justin Williams (Achilles) will continue to be out. Add Matt Cullen and his knee, and today’s total will be 44 man-games lost. At this rate, they’ll lose 328 man-games to injury this season. Doing the injury hogs should be quite a task this season.
For the millionth time, Carolina was miserable on the power play. They went 0-6, making this the sixth game in which they have failed to score a power play goal. Cumulatively, they are just 6 for 50 in that department.
The Oilers made a sweep of the three stars, and deservedly so. The Hurricanes were lucky to be in the game into the waning moments. The stars were
THIRD STAR Shawn Horcoff, EDM—1 goal
SECOND STAR Dwayne Roloson, EDM—33 saves
FIRST STAR Ethan Moreau, EDM—2 goals
Carolina will have a chance to get back on their horse right away, as they face the visiting Maple Leafs at 5:00 pm. Carolina will be wearing their new black uniforms and Michael Leighton will be in net.
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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.