|MTL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
Power Play Proves to be Canes' Downfall
Flavor of the Game 700K
RALEIGH, N.C. (November 2, 2006) - Momentum escaped the Carolina Hurricanes yet again.
With the chance to string together a third straight win and make a move on Southeast Division-leading Atlanta, the 'Canes couldn't get a goal past Cristobal Huet and fell to the Montreal Canadiens 4-0.
It was the second time in five games Carolina has been shut out at the RBC Center, and it was some nice revenge for Montreal, who was ousted from last year's playoffs by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Hurricanes.
Carolina had its chances, but poor specialty teams led to the loss. The Hurricanes were 0-for-8 on the power play and allowed two short-handed goals Thursday night.
"This is a tough loss for us because we wanted to try to build something," said captain Rod Brind'Amour. "We need to get some momentum going, and we haven't been able to do that."
The Canes were 0-for-5 with the man advantage in Wednesday night's 5-2 win at Atlanta, and were blanked in that department again, going 0-for-8.
"It was our power play, end of story," Brind'Amour said when asked about the turning point of the game. "Everything about it, it was junk."
The Hurricanes had a golden opportunity to take control of a scoreless game halfway through the second period with a two-man advantage for one minute. But instead, Carolina quickly fell behind 2-0 by allowing a short-handed and power play goal.
Montreal defenseman Michael Komisarek sidestepped a sliding Ray Whitney along the boards and scored his first of the season from a sharp angle after his shot deflected off the stick of Erik Cole and past a surprised Cam Ward. It was the third short-handed goal allowed by Carolina in 14 games.
"That was a back-breaker," Brind'Amour said. "Five-on-five, we were OK, but every time they took a penalty we should have declined it, because it just took momentum out of our team.
"It was frustrating that we were that bad and it cost us the game. It should be winning us the game."
Things would get worse less than two minutes after the first short-handed goal, when Montreal captain Saku Koivu scored with Eric Belanger off on a hooking penalty, making a nice move to get around Glen Wesley in the slot.
With Carolina pressing to get back into the game, Montreal went up 3-0 with 6:53 left and then added another short-handed goal less than two minutes later.
"I liked the way we played through two periods, but once they got the third it kind of zapped the wind out of us," coach Peter Laviolette said.
The Hurricanes now return to the road, where they have lived most of this season. The Canes play in Ottawa on Saturday and then head to New Jersey, giving the team 11 road games out of its first 16.
"We need to start climbing the ladder, but now we're back at par and we have to get back to work," Laviolette said.
Brind'Amour, with seven points in his last two games to move within two of the NHL scoring lead, was silent on this night, managing just one shot to remain at 999 career points. He did win 19 of 26 faceoffs.
Meanwhile, defenseman Tim Gleason, who is averaging 22 minutes a game - tops among Carolina defensemen - missed his second straight game with an upper body injury. And Bret Hedican took a hard shot off his leg early in the third period and limped off, but returned and appeared to be OK.
David Droschak is the former sports editor for the North Carolina bureaus of the Associated Press, the largest news-gathering organization in the world. In 2003, Droschak was named the North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year. The only writer in the Triangle to have covered the Carolina Hurricanes every season since the organization moved to North Carolina, he currently is a principal in the Raleigh-based public relations firm Hughes-Droschak Communications.
|SHG - Mike Komisarek (1) ASST: Steve Begin (1)|
1 - 0 MTL
|PPG - Saku Koivu (3) ASST: Andrei Markov (10)|
2 - 0 MTL
|Mike Johnson (4) ASST: Radek Bonk (4), Mike Komisarek (2)|
3 - 0 MTL
|SHG - Tomas Plekanec (1) ASST: NONE|
4 - 0 MTL
|Alexander Perezhogin Holding against Kevyn Adams|
|Steve Begin Slashing against Justin Williams|
|Eric Staal Tripping against Chris Higgins|
|Chris Higgins Hooking against Erik Cole|
|Eric Staal Interference on goalkeeper against Cristobal Huet|
|Mark Streit Interference against Craig Adams|
|Radek Bonk Hooking against Eric Staal|
|Eric Belanger Hooking against Tomas Plekanec|
|Alex Kovalev Hi-sticking against Eric Belanger|
|Eric Belanger Interference against Mike Johnson|
|Mike Komisarek Hooking against Ray Whitney|
|Janne Niinimaa Hooking against Kevyn Adams|
|Andrew Ladd Roughing against Mike Komisarek|
|Mike Komisarek Roughing against Andrew Ladd|
|Mike Commodore Holding against Mike Johnson|
|SA: 31||TOI: 59:42|
|Saves: 31||EV: 19 - 19|
|PIM: 0||PP: 12 - 12|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 27||TOI: 59:52|
|Saves: 23||EV: 21 - 22|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 2|
|SV%: .852||SH: 1 - 3|