The Carolina Hurricanes, led by Jussi Jokinen, were able to take off to New York with a well deserved 2 points in their suitcase. Jokinen was able to score on 2 of his 4 shots and Cam Ward would earn his 18th career shutout with a 3-0 win over their Southeast Division rival Washington Capitals. Jokinen would open scoring at the 12:43 mark of the opening period. The Hurricanes found themselves on a penalty kill, when Captain Eric Staal was able to swipe the puck away from John Carlson, and push the puck up to Jokinen. Jokinen would use his wrist shot to beat Thomas Vokoun glove side to give the Canes a 1-0 lead. Jokinen would not be finished for the night.
The Canes would take their 1-0 lead deep into the 2nd period until Jokinen was able to beat Vokoun again on a power play with only 18 seconds remaining in the period. Jay Harrison found some open real estate on the ice, put the puck on net, and Jokinen was there to slip the rebound past Vokoun. The Canes were more offensive minded in the 2nd period putting 15 shots on net, while Washington only had 8. Part of the reason the Caps could not get many offensive chances was due to the outstanding defense provided by the Canes.
Alexander Ovechkin would be held to only 2 shots on the night while accumulating close to 25 minutes of ice time. Ovechkin was visibly frustrated all night long. Justin Faulk would match Ovi with 23 minutes of ice time. All in all, the Canes played wonderfully in their defensive zone. Faulk summed it up best.
“We’ve been working on it for quite a while now,” rookie defenseman Justin Faulk said. “You just need to take time and space away, have sticks in passing lanes, be in their face. When we play like that, we get good results.”
The score would stay at the 2-0 tally until Jiri Tlusty added a highlight reel goal with only 30 seconds remaining in the game. Tlusty skated in and was upended by Vokoun’s knee. Jiri was able to sweep the puck into the net mid-air to score the final goal of the game.
After the game, word spread quickly that the Hurricanes had traded Alexei Ponikarovsky to the New Jersey Devils for a 4th round pick and defenseman Joe Sova. Poni had registered 7 goals and 15 points total through 48 games this year.
Hurricanes President and GM Jim Rutherford gave a statement saying ”This trade brings the Hurricanes assets for the future and gives the young players in our system the opportunity to gain more NHL experience this year,” Hurricanes president and general manager Jim Rutherford said. “We thank Alexei for his hard work during his time with the Hurricanes and wish him good luck in the future.”
We will see what moves the Canes make today in the lineup. The 17,000 plus fans were fantastic last night. The RBC Center was very loud, and Jeff and Tripp were excellent on the television broadcast. Tonight the Canes will face the New York Islanders at 7:00 p.m.
Stats and Facts
- Shots on Goal- Carolina 33—Washington 23
- Cam Ward recorded his 18th shutout of his career.
- Canes scored on two of their power play opportunities.