The Carolina Hurricanes lose 3-1 in Minnesota Thursday night, but the loss isn’t the biggest loss of the night. Under five minutes into the game, Cam Ward makes, what seems to be, a routine save. He got up slowly and left the ice under his own power following the whistle.
Click here to see more about the injury to Hurricanes starting goalie, Cam Ward.
The Hurricanes seemed over matched in Minnesota. They were shutdown early and often in the neutral zone, which made it very difficult for the Hurricanes to get anything started in the Minnesota end of the ice.
Justin Peters relieved Ward after his injury early in the first. A shaky start led to a solid finish by Peters. Peters let in two goals in the first period, and the Hurricanes play was off after the Ward injury. Minnesota took advantage of this and had a comfortable lead after the first. Minnesota’s first period goals were by Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise.
Alex Semin broke through on the powerplay in the second period. He scored on a pass from Eric Staal across the slot. Semin’s slap shot marked his third goal of the year, and it gave the Canes life. That was the only goal scored in the second period.
Past that point, the Hurricanes just couldn’t get the offense going consistently. They had trouble getting the puck out of the zone at times, and they got shut down often in the neutral zone. The third period saw Jeff Skinner leave and not return, after toughing out a hand injury through the second period. He is listed as an upper body injury.
Wild goalie Josh Harding also left after the second period.
The third period was a lot of the same for the Hurricanes. They were impacted by injuries, and that took a toll on the team. Danny Heatley scored an empty net, powerplay goal late in the third to finish off the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes did show heart in Minnesota. The defense was very good. The problem was the offense and missed opportunities. Jordan Staal, in particular, failed to get shots on goal on many golden opportunities.
The Hurricanes also continue to dig themselves a hole in the first period. They played better in the second and third period, but they weren’t able to make up for their poor play in the first twenty minutes.
Tonight, you can use the Cam Ward injury as an excuse, but you can’t make excuses if you’re the Carolina Hurricanes. You have to play the game correctly in order to win, and they didn’t do that in the first period. They have to play better in the first period, end of story.
The Hurricanes play in Colorado Friday night, so they will need to turn around, take the good from this game and keep their heads up going into Colorado.
There will be a preview and recap of the game on Cardiac Cane, so check back here for that. And make sure to check @CardiacCane on twitter for in-game updates.