Red and Black Hockey
by David Lee on 01/20/09 at 12:40 AM ET
On Monday night, the Hurricanes did something they hadn’t done in nearly two weeks: they won. After losing five in a row including a pair of 5-1 undressings, the Canes finally got off the schneid. Cam Ward was brilliant between the pipes and the Canes got goals from Joe (s)Corvo and Chad “Sharpie” LaRose to beat the Leafs 2-0. They will take their one game winning “streak” to Pittsburgh on Tuesday before taking an entire week off for the ASG.
Corvo’s power play goal was one of his patented laser beams from the top of the left circle late in the second. It was his fourth game-winning goal and his eighth marker overall. LaRose scored a back-breaking insurance goal with just four and a half seconds left in the second period. However, it was the Hurricanes penalty killing and the outstanding play of Cam Ward that took center stage.
Early in the first, Carolina took two penalties in quick order, giving the Leafs 49 seconds of five-on-three and plenty of regular power play time, but the killers shut it down. In fact, the Leafs didn’t manage a single shot on goal during the two-man advantage with fresh ice. More than a goal allowed in the first or last minute of a period, a failure to execute a five-on-three can bury a team.
Added to that, Cam Ward was back in his Jedi-Cam state. He was calm and cool. He made fantastic pad saves from close range. He also exploded from post-to-post against Jason Blake a couple of times, denying him the wraparound goal that he successfully scored in Raleigh last week. The Leafs announcers were very complimentary of his work.
This game had to be especially nice for Canes coach Paul Maurice, who still lives in the Toronto area and must have had loads of family and friends in the crowd. He also got a second crack at the team who fired him and a chance to back up the talk that he did in the Raleigh media.
Although he didn’t make the scoresheet and won’t be recognized by very many people, Dennis Seidenberg had a fantastic game. He made a tremendous sliding pokecheck on a two-on-one rush by the Leafs in the first period. He led all players with five hits, and he added three blocked shots.
Joni Pitkänen also had a noteworthy night. He had one assist, three blocked shots and three hits.
Rod Brind’Amour? His ice time is continuing to diminish, and he had a horrible night in the faceoff circle. He was just 36% on the night. Something is definitely wrong with the Captain.
Eric Staal and Carolina will take on Jordan Staal and the Penguins tomorrow night at 7:30.
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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.