The Carolina Hurricanes started the week on the road against the New York Islanders
Tonight’s game featured the road weary NY Islanders returning home after a 9 game road trip. Much like the Carolina Hurricanes and the state fair escapades each fall, the NCAA came calling for the Barclay’s Center in March.
More specifically New York got a taste of North Carolina college basketball before the Canes brought their own particular flavor of hockey to the Big Apple. New York is the start of a set of away game bookends for Carolina. After tonight the Canes come home for three games before finishing the week in Philadelphia.
This game had all the makings of a high scoring affair if you reflect on the past two game these teams have played this season. Look for both teams to try and out run the other. Lucas Wallmark made his NHL debut tonight after Valentin Zykov sat out another game with an upper body injury.
This game starts out with a bang and not a good bang at that. New York is rested and feeling it at home. The Islanders really push the play from the beginning. Carolina shows some speed themselves but for much of the first period, the Canes are on their heels when Ryan Strome scores the first goal of the game.
But that goal actually seems to settle the Hurricanes whose fourth line comes out strong after the goal and then Carolina’s second line takes advantage of a good couple of shifts and Jaccob Slavin makes the Islander pay. Just 26 seconds after the first goal, Joakim Nordstrom cleans up the mess left by Lee Stempniak. Carolina takes the lead 2-1.
Hurricanes keep the pressure on for the most part until Stephen Gionta and the Best Fourth Line in Hockey™ line evens the score.
Things Start to Get a Little Crazy
The second period ended up being epic for the Carolina Hurricanes. NY Islanders get the first power play of the night when Teuvo Taravainen gets called for tripping. The Islanders made the Canes pay with a PP goal by Calvin de Haan. NBC Sports Ray Ferraro makes a point of telling the world how bad the Canes goaltending is:
After that embarrassing goal, I think the Carolina Hurricanes listened to Ray Ferraro and realized their goaltending is awful so they needed to score all the goals. That sparked 4 goals in 4:55 minutes onslaught led by Justin Faulk.
The offensive breakout was led by the Canes defensive combination of Justin Faulk and Jaccob Slavin who end the 2nd period with 2 goals apiece. Jeff Skinner gets one in the middle.NY Islanders get one back before the end of the 2nd from hot newcomer Joshua Ho-Sang and the magical powers of the number 66. That’s why Mario Lemieux was so good it wasn’t his innate hockey skills but the fact that he wore number 66. With the secret out Pittsburgh fans will have to admit Lemieux was a sham all along.
How much crazier can it get?
How about a bona a fide penalty shot? That crazy enough for you? Jeff Skinner goes on the offensive and draws a penalty shot with some good moves when driving for the net. Skinner continues with the great moves and undresses the Islander’s second goalie of the night Thomas Griess.
Being a Caniac, I don’t think I could ever be happier to see the team play like this (even only one game). Then the most impressive and most deserving goal of the year happens. Jaccob Slavin with his first NHL Hat Trick.
This game from the beginning was a back and forth affair and no surprise to anyone who has watched the first two games by these teams. The Islanders played desperate like a team fighting for a playoff spot for the first two periods. It can only be speculated that the long road trip (approx. 11,000 miles) and not playing a game at home since February 19th, finally caught up with the home team.
Carolina’s offensive push in the 2nd was one of the most impressive outbursts by the Hurricanes this year. Only rivaled by the last game against the Isles. What is more impressive is that the Canes defense scored 63% of the teams goals, highlighted by Jaccob Slavin’s first NHL hat trick. Lately there hasn’t been too many Carolina highlights to be proud of but seeing the Hurricanes young defense again thrive in all type of game situations and prevail is a wonderful site of optimism for any Caniac.