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Checkers Notes: Murphy, Dalpe Step up for Charlotte

Thursday, 04.21.2011 / 12:11 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Checkers Notes: Murphy, Dalpe Step up for Charlotte
Murphy Rounds Back Into Form

Paul Branecky
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As they were out-shot 37-24 on Wednesday, a big reason the Checkers were able to prevail was goaltender Mike Murphy.

The Hurricanes’ sixth-round pick in the 2008 draft that also produced Checkers teammates Zach Boychuk, Zac Dalpe and Michal Jordan, Murphy made 35 saves in just his second appearance of the playoffs. Prior to stopping 20 of 23 shots in Game 3’s loss, he had not played since suffering a concussion on March 20.

“I’ve been out three and a half weeks with an injury, and this is the best feeling in the world,” said Murphy after being named first star in Game 4. “It was a huge game for me to get my confidence back.”

“Murphy has responded well two games in a row after being out for a long period of time,” said Checkers coach Jeff Daniels. “He’s a big-time goalie.”

Daniels added that he had no reservations about starting Murphy in the middle of a tight playoff series after a prolonged injury layoff.

“Not really,” he said. “We had seven good days of practice with him and I liked what I saw in practice, and when I talked to him and asked him if he was ready, he said, ‘Yeah’. He didn’t hesitate and he wanted in the net.”

Murphy, who split the Checkers’ netminding duties evenly with Justin Pogge until his injury, posted a 2.53 goals-against average and .919 save percentage during the regular season.

Dalpe Maintains Offensive Pace

Although it wasn’t quite the trial by fire that Justin Faulk experienced in his professional debut, Dalpe wasn’t far off last season.

After signing a contract with the Hurricanes and the conclusion of his sophomore season at Ohio State, the then-20-year-old Dalpe played just nine regular-season games with the Albany River Rats before embarking on the team’s eight-game playoff run. In total, he scored 14 points (9g, 5a) during that 17-game span.

After a strong regular season in 2010-11 that saw him score at nearly a point-per-game pace and make the American Hockey League’s All-Rookie Team, Dalpe has followed that up with another strong start to his postseason, notching 6 points (3g, 3a) in the first four games against Hershey.

”I love this time of year,” he said after Game 4. “It’s one of those things where if you want to be a big player you need to step up, and I feel like I’m trying to do that every game.”

“The way he can generate a lot of offense with his speed, he’s a guy that even when the puck’s not going in for him personally he’s creating a lot of offense,” said Daniels. “He’s a real good, solid, two-way player for us.”

Dalpe, playing the point on the Checkers’ power play, picked up an assist on Nicolas Blanchard’s goal in the second period. He was initially credited with his team’s second goal as well, but replays showed that Oskar Osala’s shot had trickled over the line by the time Dalpe helped it along.

“I told Oskar that I was just making sure it was over the line,” said Dalpe. “I kind of celebrated like I got it, so that was kind of embarrassing.”

Dalpe, who scored his first 3 NHL goals with the Hurricanes this season, ranks tied for seventh in AHL playoff scoring.


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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
K. Versteeg 63 11 22 -6 33
E. Staal 63 10 23 -3 33
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81