Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 02/27/11 at 12:42 AM ET
On Saturday night, Carolina went to la belle province, where they have had success in the past. They didn’t have success tonight, falling 4-3 in regulation. It looked like the Canes were going to earn at least a point, but Andrei Kostitsyn scored the game-winning goal at 16:07. Meanwhile, the Sabres earned one point in a shootout loss to the Red Wings. Now, the Sabres are just two points behind the Hurricanes for the eighth and final playoff spot in the east, with two games in hand. The only saving grace there is that the Sabres had a lead in their game with less than a minute to play, but gave it away and only earned the single point. Watching the post-game interviews, neither Ryan Miller nor Lindy Ruff was happy with the single point.
For about the millionth time in a row, Carolina’s power play was an area of concern. They were 0-4 on the power play, including a four minute double minor. On the other side, Carolina was only penalized once and les Habitants cashed in with the game-winner in that scenario.
Cam Ward wasn’t particularly good in a building where he usually has great games. Maybe this is because he was playing both ends of the back-to-back. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t had a game off since before Christmas. He looked a little tired and his positioning wasn’t as good as it normally is. Although every game is extremely important from now until the end of the season, I’ll continue to say that Cam Ward needs a rest. Carolina plays at home against Florida on Tuesday, and this might be the perfect time to give Justin Peters the start. The Panthers aren’t exactly eliminated from playoff contention just yet, but they’ve sold off some of their players and they’re a team that the Hurricanes should beat.
After the Panthers game on Tuesday, the Hurricanes will play probably the most important game of the season when the Sabres come to town. A regulation win for the Sabres would allow them to leapfrog the Canes and get into the group of eight. The teams will meet two other times: the Ides of March at HSBC and on April 3 at RBC. All three games will be crucial for both teams and because of that, all three games should be excellent, playoff-like games.
Cory Stillman, in his second game back with the Canes, scored a nice goal. Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu scored the other goals.
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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.