The Carolina Hurricanes played the Boston Bruins on Monday night. They fell 4-1 to the defending Eastern Conference Champions. Goal scoring, again, was one of the bigger problems for the Carolina Hurricanes tonight.
The scoring started 2:30 into the first as Boston’s Reilly Smith scored on the powerplay. Carl Soderberg set up Smith with a good pass from the boards. Reilly Smith then had an easy tip-in in past Cam Ward. That made it 1-0 Bruins. Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson were credited with the assists.
The Bruins didn’t let up. About eight minutes later, Carl Soderberg, who set up the first Boston goal, deflected a Dennis Seidenberg wrist shot by Cam Ward. Boston won an offensive zone faceoff, and the puck got back to Seidenberg at the point. He put it on net, and Carl Soderberg deflected it past Cam Ward to make it 2-0 Bruins. Dennis Seidenberg and Reilly Smith picked up the assists.
A much needed goal by Tuomo Ruutu made it a game with 4.8 seconds left in the first period. Drayson Bowman broke into the zone and passed the puck down low to Eric Staal. Staal then passed out in front to Ruutu who tipped it past a sprawling Tuukka Rask to make it 2-1. Eric Staal and Drayson Bowman got the assists.
After a scoreless second period, Johnny Boychuk rifles a shot past Cam Ward. After a scrum in front, the puck goes out to Boychuk where he shoots it past Ward from the right boards. Milan Lucic made contact with Ward and made him unable to make a save on the goal. In my opinion, Lucic interfered with Ward, so the goal should have been called off. The referees are not allowed to go to the war room in Toronto to review it, so the goal would stand. The assists went to David Krejci and Milan Lucic. Tuomo Ruutu did put a little shove into Lucic, so that was likely why it was not called.
Milan Lucic finished it off with an empty net goal with 10 seconds left. It looked like he tripped Ryan Murphy earlier in the play, but it was not called. The call likely wouldn’t have made a big difference, considering there was 10 seconds left and the Canes were down by 2 goals. The lone assist went to Jarome Iginla.
The Carolina Hurricanes were plagued by a bad start tonight. They did not play well at all in the first 15 minutes of the game, and they were not able to come back from the poor start. That can’t happen against the Big Bad Bruins.
After a slow first period, the Carolina Hurricanes started to get scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, a lot of those opportunities weren’t put on net. The Canes still did a good job of controlling the puck in the Boston end of the ice, and they made it difficult for the Bruins to get it out of their own end.
The refs certainly did not help the Carolina Hurricanes. In my opinion, two goals should not have happened. Milan Lucic ran over Ward, which led the Boychuk’s big third period goal. Ruutu did shove Lucic a little bit, but I’m not sure if that was enough for Lucic to run over Ward. It was a difficult call for the refs. Lucic also tripped Murphy who was walking into the zone, the puck then went to Iginla who sprung Lucic for a breakaway as he scored on the Canes empty net. I hate putting blame on the refs, but I feel like there were some unfortunate non-calls from the refs.
The first line of Eric Staal, Drayson Bowman, and Tuomo Ruutu played a good game. They generated a lot of chances, and they scored Carolina’s only goal. Drayson Bowman continues to play very well, and Tuomo Ruutu had his best game of the season, in my opinion. Eric Staal played a good game as well. We can see his play elevating game by game, and that’s a very good thing to see, especially if he’s doing it without Alex Semin.
Jordan Staal, Nathan Gerbe, and Patrick Dwyer played another great game. They did all but score against the Bruins. They got consistent scoring chances, and they were dominate in their own end of the ice, like usual with this line. Jordan Staal continues to improve since his rough start to the season. He has played very well lately, maybe his best hockey as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes.
Cam Ward’s return maybe considered not too great if you just look at the stats, but considering this was Cam Ward’s first start in 10 games, he played well. It was very good to see Ward play a very good game in his first game back. The Canes goalie situation sure looks good, as of now. He looked rusty, but it certainly could’ve gone a lot worse for Ward. He let in 3 goals on 29 shots that he faced.
Boston is a tough opponent, and they showed it against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes did not play an awful game, but they still fall to the Bruins 4-1.
The Carolina Hurricanes play in Detroit on Thursday night as they square off with the Detroit Red Wings. The road doesn’t get easier, but with the imminent return of Jeff Skinner, and possibly Alex Semin as well, hopefully the Carolina hurricanes offense will start to heat up.