Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 11/21/10 at 07:25 PM ET
On Saturday night, the Hurricanes played in the back end of a back-to-back, hosting the Nashville Predators. The Canes battled their way to earn one point in Pittsburgh on Friday night, losing in the shootout. Nashville, meanwhile, was coming off an impressive 3-0 road win in Montréal on Thursday.
In the first period, Carolina looked like an exhausted team, as they only managed three shots on goal in the first period. They did, however, score a goal, putting themselves reluctantly in the driver’s seat. Nashville tied it early in the second, and from there on out, neither team wanted to take control of the game. It ended 1-1, and overtime didn’t solve anything. The Preds won in the shootout, and Carolina got their second consolation point in a row.
Early in the first, Jeff Skinner somehow missed a wide-open net. From my vantage point on the opposite end of the rink, the only thing I can guess is that it went off both posts and stayed out. The goal horn went off and there was a very brief celebration in the arena. The red light never came on, though, and the play was never even under review.
A few minutes later, Joni Pitkanen cashed in, joining the rush and banging in a rebound from the low slot. Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu got the assists at 9:22 of the first. The assist snapped a four game pointless streak for the rookie.
Early in the second, Pitkanen sort of fell asleep, affording Jerred Smithson of the Preds a clear breakaway. He easily beat Cam Ward for the equalising goal. Jordan Tootoo and Joel Ward got the assists, marked at 3:53 of period two.
The rest of the game, frankly, was a snoozefest. Each team committed two penalties and they also matched shots on goal for the of the game.
Jeff Skinner went first in the shootout, and he banged his shot off the post and in. Cal O’Reilly went for the Preds, snapping a shot on Ward’s glove side. Ward got a little bit of leather on it, but not enough, as it found the net.
Jussi Jokinen and Marcel Goc were each stopped on their attempts, taking it to the third round.
Patrick O’Sullivan deked and missed, setting it up for Martin Erat. Unlike the other five shooters, he came straight in with a shot, and he beat Ward cleanly for the win.
Carolina is off until Wednesday, when they will host the division leading Capitals.
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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.