Despite being the better team for most of the game, the Carolina Hurricanes were defeated by the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 in overtime. Former Hurricane Andrew Ladd scored just :16 seconds into overtime at the PNC Arena to seal the Canes fate. Though the Canes were the better team for most of the game Friday night, the Jets pepped up in the third period and battled back for the OT win. And just like that, the Carolina Hurricanes playoff chances are leaving on a jet plane.
Winnipeg would light the lamp first with a goal from Nik Antropov. In the middle of the first, Jeff Skinner absorbed a hit behind the Jets net, and made a pass to Derek Joslin who put it past Chris Mason for his first goal as a forward. Just a few minutes later, Tim Gleason would be awarded two minors for unsportsmanlike conduct after dropping the gloves with unwilling Jets Forward Blake Wheeler. But the Jets would not capitalize on their four minutes of Power Play. Instead Canes Captain Eric Staal would peel the puck away from Wheeler and break away for an amazing short handed goal. This is a goal you definitely need to see again.
Carolina would take a 3-1 lead in the second period with Brandon Sutter finding an open space despite a heavy Jets presence in front of the net. Jim Slater would cut the Canes lead to one goal in the middle of the second.
Though the Jets would come out roaring in the third (they had 18 shots in the third period alone, while the first two periods combined, Jets SOG were 16), the score remained the same until late in the period. The Canes Jiri Tlusty would sit on a double minor for Hi Sticking, which was just the opportunity the Jets were looking for to even the score. Kyle Wellwood took advantage and put one past Cam Ward to tie the game.
The Canes would not answer back. Looking to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Jets Andrew Ladd would score the game winner just :16 into overtime.
Yes Caniacs, it will be a long summer without playoff hockey. However, I like to always bring you over to where the grass is greener. I don’t need to show you stats to prove to you that the Canes are playing better, and working together more as a team. I don’t need to show you milestones to let you know we have great players, but I will anyway:
-Anthony Stewart wasted no time taking on Zach Bogosian in defense of the injured Andreas Nodl. Though it was a quick fight, it sent the message that this team has not forgotten and will not lie down.
-Eric Staal recorded his 250th goal for the franchise, which ties him for second place in franchise history. Watch out Ron Francis, your former training camp roomie is coming for you. Staal also has 10 points in the last 9 games.
-The checking line is hot, hot, hot. Brandon Sutter has five points in the last nine games. Line mate Patrick Dwyer has recorded seven helpers this season, four of which have been on a Sutter goal. Drayson Bowman has six points in the last nine games. (How many of you are wishing we’d put Bowman on this line a few weeks earlier?)
-Tuomo Ruutu skated in his 300th game for the Hurricanes last night.
Caniacs, let’s help the Hurricanes finish this season strong. I expect to hear those “Let’s Go Canes!” chants just as loud as always in the PNC Arena tonight as the Canes take on the New Jersey Devils.
Topics: Andreas Nodl, Andrew Ladd, Anthony Stewart, Blake Wheeler, Brandon Sutter, Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes, Chris Mason, Derek Joslin, Drayson Bowman, Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner, Jim Slater, Jiri Tlusty, Kyle Wellwood, Nik Antropov, Patrick Dwyer, Ron Francis, Tim Gleason, Tuomo Ruutu, Winnipeg Jets, Zach Bogosian