Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 01/12/11 at 01:18 AM ET
On Tuesday, the Hurricanes won their third straight game and extended their streak to eight games in which they’ve earned at least one standings point. It wasn’t a pretty game, and they needed the shootout to earn the extra point, winning 6-5 against the Flames. At one point late in the second, the Canes had a three goal lead, but the pesky Flames fought back and nearly stole the game in regulation. Although it was nerve-wracking, the Canes got the two points and there’s no harm in giving away one point across conference lines.
Jussi Jokinen, who missed six games with a “lower body concern” returned to the lineup with a bang: he scored two goals and assisted on another. Cam Ward was named to the All-Star roster Tuesday morning, and also returned to the lineup after backing up Justin Peters two games in a row. He didn’t put up All-Star numbers, but he picked up the win, and that’s what matters the most.
Ten different Flames and Twelve different Canes registered at least one scoring point. Among them was Erik Cole, who extended his goal streak to three games; Eric Staal, who extended his point streak to six games and maintained his point-a-night pace; Jeff Skinner, who extended his point streak to three games with his 19th assist of the year. Skinner scored the “game-deciding goal” in the shootout.
Of note for the Flames is that Jerome Iginla had a goal and an assist. The assist was the 500th of Iggy’s career.
The Flames had a 2-1 lead, then surrendered four unanswered goals. Then Carolina surrendered three unanswered goals. Olli (The Player Formerly Known as Cane Killa) Jokinen had about three dozen high-quality scoring chances in the third period including one with the net wide open. Somehow, he couldn’t find the net, and that ensured that the Canes would get at least the one point after squandering the big lead.
Jeff Skinner, who was handled pretty roughly all night long, scored a nifty goal in the shootout and was the only successful shooter. On the other end of the ice, Cam Ward gave up five goals in regulation, but was perfect when he needed to be.
It wasn’t pretty, and Carolina got pushed around a lot more than they’re used to being, but they got the two points.
In Madison Square Garden, Les Habitants didn’t do the Hurricanes any favors. When the night started, Carolina was three points behind eighth place Montréal with a game in hand. The Canadiens won their game to maintain the three point gap. In fact, they leaped over the Thrashers in the standings. The good news out of that is that the Hurricanes are three points behind Atlanta, and have three games in hand over them.
On Thursday night, the Hurricanes will take their show on the road in Buffalo, where the Sabres just had a five-game point streak snapped.
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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.