In their solo matchup, the Hurricanes and Blackhawks faced off in Raleigh and won big. Cam Ward stopped 30 shots with the swiftness and patience we come to expect from the Canes’ goalie and ended the contest 3-0. It marks Ward’s first regular season shutout.
Pitkanen went to the locker room early in the first after an ugly collision into the boards, but he did return a couple minutes later to the relief of Caniacs.
Tim Brent scored off a face-off pass from Tim Gleason for the early lead at 3:08. It was a high energy game with a slew of back and forth play. Staal took a high stick to the face from Carcillo and went to the locker room for mending. However, the wrong guy to the box as Kane got 4 minutes. Hawks successfully killed the power play. Tim Brent was filling in for Staal when he had a nice shot before the first period buzzer, but Crawford made a nice foot pad save.
“We need to take more shots,” said Tlusty in the intermission interview.
Eric Staal was back at the start of the second period with a nasty cut down the bridge of his nose. He should be rocking a shiner in Philadelphia tomorrow. Jonathan Toews went to the box for hooking and Jeff Skinner was able to get a shot off, but it was swallowed by the glove of Crawford. Skinner then found himself in the sin box for hooking which brought the game to a 4-on-4. With Toews out of the penalty box, he soared on a breakaway. It seemed like a sure goal, but Cam brushed it away to save the day.
Staal was denied on penalty shot toward end of 40 minutes after a hooking call. Half inch higher and the puck would have found the back of the net. Canes retained their 1-0 lead after two periods.
Brandon Sutter took a tripping call about four minutes into the third, but bolted out of the box to find the back of the net for his third goal of the season. It was beautiful.
It was 4-on-4 in the last few minutes of the game when Jamal Mayers skated into Ward’s crease and Harrison took offence. Both boys went to the box.
Frolik hooked Skinner to end the game on a Canes power play. The fifth one of the night. Canes retained the lead and shot the Hawks from their recent high flight.
“My rebound control was really well tonight,” Ward told the media after the game. He also mentioned he was going to enjoy some penne rather pizza tonight. Forget the penne, I toast a nice cold one to the boys in red tonight!
The Canes weren’t the only winner tonight. I won a wager with Blackhawks’ fan Frank Rekas, editor of The Rat Trick. He will have to post a 400 word article on why Jeff Skinner is better looking than Patrick Sharp. I cannot wait. Woo!