Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 04/03/09 at 12:11 AM ET
On Thursday night, the Hurricanes won their seventh straight game and their tenth in a row at home. The latter is a new franchise record. The final score was 4-2, with Eric Staal and Rod Brind’Amour each scoring one and Chad LaRose notching two, including the game-winner.
Simultaneous with the start of the game, Chad LaRose was featured on the NHL Network’s “A Day in the Life”. Most of the program surrounded him antagonizing Sean Avery in the March 9 game between these same two teams. It was a big day for the little guy.
Carolina has now leapfrogged Pittsburgh and Philly into fourth place. The Canes have 93 standings points and four remaining games. They still haven’t guaranteed a playoff spot, but this makes it almost a certainty.
Carolina got themselves into penalty trouble in this game, but the specialty teams rose to the occasion, nullifying six of seven penalties. Meanwhile, the power play wasn’t as good as coach Paul Maurice would have liked. The game’s first goal came on Carolina’s first power play, but the subsequent five were all killed by the Rangers.
Eric Staal had a two-point (1/1) night, putting him at 69 (35/34) for the season. He got off to a pretty slow start, but has been phenomenal since the break. Ray Whitney also had a two-point (0/2) night, bringing his total to 71 (24/47). The player of the game, though, was Chad LaRose, who scored his 17th and 18th goals of the season to bring his season points total to 30 (18/12).
Cam Ward earned his seventh straight win, and continues to be rock solid. He was the NHL’s player of the month for March He has started 25 straight games and has given up two or fewer goals in each of his last five games.
Up next for the Hurricanes will be the Penguins, who come to town on Saturday. There will be a huge conflict of interest here as the UNC Tar Heels will be playing in the NCAA basketball semifinal game that same night. I’ll say again as I’ve said a million times before: this is the reason DVR was invented.
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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.