On October 20, 2010 Jeff Skinner scored his first NHL goal. Tonight against the Los Angeles Kings, Skinner once again would propel the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory. It did not take long for the Kings to strike first. Only 4:58 into the game, and on a power play, Anze Kopitar received a pass from ex-Cane Justin Williams at the point. Kopitar was able to one time the shot past Cam Ward to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Things would remain quiet until Tim Gleason would drop the gloves with Kyle Clifford late into the 3rd period. Both teams were somewhat chirpy by this point, so the scuffle seemed inevitable. The Canes struggled through the first period offensive wise, managing only 4 shots on Jonathan Bernier. The score would be tallied 1-0 as the teams headed to the dressing room for the 1st intermission.
The 2nd period turned out to be a very exciting period. Both teams had excellent opportunities to capitalize. The most exciting event took place 15:40 into the period. Jiri Tlusty not only blocked a big shot from the point, he also deflected it back into the neutral zone. From there it was pure speed and talent as Tlusty shoved the puck ahead and was able to beat Bernier far side to draw the score even at 1-1. The Canes would end up blocking 24 shots on the evening, and also put 23 hits on the Kings. The score would remain 1-1 at the end of two.
It was the Cam Ward and Jeff Skinner show in the 3rd period. Just three minutes into the final period, Skinner found a loose puck at the goal mouth and wristed it in for his 15th goal of the season. Picking up assists for the Canes on Skinner’s goal was Jussi Jokinen and Drayson Bowman. After Skinner’s goal, it was Cam Ward’s turn to shut down the Kings. Ward faced a plethora of shots from L.A but was able to turn them all away.
It was a monumental win for the Canes tonight. So far this season they are 1-13-0 when trailing after one period. Staggering isn’t it? The Canes are doing all they can to get back into the playoff picture. This week will be a crucial test for the Canes as they will go on a road trip. Wednesday they will face Anaheim, Friday Colorado, and finally Montreal next Monday. The Canes will not see their home ice until February 17th when they face off against San Jose.
I cannot say enough about the way the Canes are playing. The defense, along with the fantastic goaltending of Cam Ward is something to be proud of. They are firing on all cylinders lately, and providing very exciting hockey for us Caniacs.
- Power Play Goals—Kings 1 for 2—Canes 0 for 3
- Shots on Goal—Kings 25—Canes 22
- Attendance—18,680 Canics in the house