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Scoring First Nice, but not Always Necessary

Saturday, 11.29.2008 / 12:06 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Scoring First Nice, but not Always Necessary

Most would agree that the Hurricanes’ biggest problem leading up to yesterday’s win in Philadelphia was coming out with the right kind of intensity in the first period.

Paul Branecky
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That being said, it must have been a little frustrating to go to the locker room down 1-0 after a strong opening frame against the Flyers.  The goal they did allow was an unlucky deflection off Joni Pitkanen’s stick, which was correctly positioned to block a cross-crease pass to a Flyer who would have had an awful good look at an open net.

Fortunately for the Hurricanes, they didn’t let that frustration get to them en route to an eventual 3-2 overtime win.

“You can’t leave the first period where you’ve done the right things but you’re down 1-0 , go in and throw the table around,” said coach Peter Laviolette.

”In the tough times like this you still have to believe in your thing, believe in your system, play in the system and try hard,” said Tuomo Ruutu, who scored the Canes’ second goal.  “I don’t think there’s any other way to bounce back.”

Still, the Canes would like to get on the board first for a change, something they haven’t done in their last nine games.  In some of those games they haven’t come out with the determination they would have liked, but to say that’s happened in all nine contests would be premature.  In hockey, good early efforts don't always translate to early goals for one reason or another.

”I don’t know what to say about that,” said Laviolette.  “It happens.  Same thing yesterday [in Philadelphia].  We killed it the way we wanted to kill it, we gave up the shots I guess you want to give up.  It was a low play they just threw to the front of the net and it goes off our stick and into the net.  There’s not much you can do about it.”

The Canes are 4-5-0 during the current streak of trailing first, showing it isn’t necessarily the key to winning the game.  Wins over Montreal, Phoenix and Philadelphia were all solid, consistent efforts, even if they did have to mount a small comeback.

“What really matters is the score at the end of the night, but in saying that I’d like to score the first goal,” said Laviolette.  “That would be nice.”

Laviolette said that Tim Gleason, Dennis Seidenberg and Scott Walker are all doubtful for tomorrow’s game against the Ducks.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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