Twenty five days. That’s how long it’s been since the Carolina Hurricanes won a game at home. Until last night. It was the first win of the season when trailing by two goals at any point throughout the game. They had a hill to climb, however, as the Canucks came out quickly as Kevin Bieksa scored just 5:19 in after Jaroslav Spacek inadvertently bumped Cam Ward out of position. A few minutes later, a good ol’ fashioned scrum broke out, lead by Bryan Allen squaring off against Aaron Rome. Roughing and fighting penalties were given out to five players. The Canucks led the Canes 1-0 after the first with the Canes leading in shots 15-9.
It was then the Cam Ward show as the Canucks broke out on nearly a 2-0 and Ward made a spectacular sprawling save with 10:41 to go in the second period to keep it 1-0. Just a few seconds later, Henrik Sedin made a beautiful pass out from behind the net and Mayson Raymond beat Eric Staal to the punch to put it behind Cam Ward to make it 2-0 Canucks at 9:51. It was Sedin’s 700th career point. The Canes came on strong after the Canucks goal, registering several chances. A puck then came off of Jamie McBain’s stick down within the offensive zone and ended up by Anthony Stewart, who made a beautiful pass to Drayson Bowman who was parked out in front of the net and snapped it past Cory Schneider for Bowman’s first of the year to make it 2-1 Canucks at the 15:52 mark of the second period. The second of Cam Ward’s amazing saves came around the 3 minute mark, where he made a beautiful pad save on Henrik Sedin, which brought the RBC Center crowd to its’ feet. It was late in the second period when Bryan Allen took a pass from Jussi Jokinen and wristed it towards the net where Tuomo Ruutu got a stick on it to tie the game at 19:08. The two teams headed to the locker rooms deadlocked at 2.
The Canes quickly took the lead in the third when Chad LaRose won a board battle, made a beautiful pass to Drayson Bowman, who went top shelf on Cory Schneider for his second of the night and to give the Canes a 3-2 lead at 0:37. Bowman wasn’t done, however, as he stripped Sami Salo of the puck and was in on a breakaway, but Schneider made a beautiful save to prevent Bowman of his first NHL hat trick. Keith Ballard then went to the box for holding at 5:12 to give the Canes a power play and newcomer Jaro Spacek made no mistake, rocketing a pass from Tuomo Ruutu to the back of the net, giving the Canes a 4-2 lead on a 6-on-4 sequence. It didn’t take long for the Canucks to respond as a turnover in the defensive zone lead to a Henrick Sedin shot on goal and Alex Burrows out battles Tim Gleason and Jamie McBain to knock the rebound past Cam Ward to make it 4-3 Carolina. It was then the Cam Ward show … again … as Mason Raymond made a couple of nifty moves to swerve past some Canes defenders and then made a nice pass to Keith Ballard who was wide open in front of the net. Cam Ward then reached over and stoned him with the glove, making perhaps the save of the year so far, and bringing the RBC Center to their feet. It turned out to be the save of the game as the Canes ended up winning it 4-3, making the second win earned under new head coach Kirk Muller.
- Drayson Bowman played like a man possessed tonight. Not only did he have the two goals, but he registered 8 shots on goal, leading the team and played almost 20 minutes. He was second to only Eric Staal (22:20) among forwards.
- Tuomo Ruutu also had an amazing game, notching 2 points (1G, 1A), a +1, 6 SOG (second on the team), and played 17:18 of solid ice-time.
- Defenseman Derek Joslin had the least amount of ice time of the defensemen by far, playing only 7:52. I haven’t heard anything as far as injuries, but I don’t remember seeing him for most of the third period.
- Cam Ward was finally back to his old form, as he made 3-4 spectacular saves and was solid throughout the night. You could tell in the post game how much he needed a good performance, especially after his “tirade” after being pulled during the Winnipeg game last week.
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