|ANA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
Canes Win One for the Captain
Flavor of the Game 700K
RALEIGH, N.C. (DEC. 29, 2006) - Rod Brind'Amour night worked out perfectly.
The Carolina captain was honored for his 1,000th career point before the Hurricanes took on the best team in the Western Conference, then produced another typical Brind'Amour night with a goal, an assist and five shots in 21 minutes in a 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
"I probably wasn't as focused as I should have been," Brind'Amour said. "I wasn't great by any means but everybody else picked me up."
A modest Brind'Amour also won 14 of 20 face-offs as the Canes clamped down defensively in the third period to protect yet another lead, winning for the sixth time in the last seven games.
"He doesn't disappoint on too many nights," Ray Whitney said of Brind'Amour. "He will play the typical Roddy and downplay everything, but to do what he's done is a special accomplishment. We're proud we could get a victory for him tonight and certainly he did his part."
Carolina had yet to give up a lead this season after 20 and 40 minutes, running its record to 14-0 when leading after one and two periods as the Canes handed the Ducks just their sixth loss of the season.
"They are good," said Whitney. "We won't put too much stock into this, but beating the team with the best record in the league is good for us."
Cam Ward was facing Teemu Selanne for the first time in his career and the Carolina goalie saw first hand how quickly the future Hall of Famer can strike. In a span of less than three minutes early in the second, Selanne turned a 1-0 Carolina lead into a 2-1 advantage for the Ducks with a pair of blasts.
"He's got all the talent, starting with speed and finish, and he showed it to me tonight," said Ward, who improved to 18-9-3.
But the Anaheim lead didn't last long as Brind'Amour tipped in a shot from Whitney 20 seconds into a power play and Justin Williams added the go-ahead goal 2:27 later after Whitney waited out the defense and slid a perfect pass to his red-hot linemate. Brind'Amour started the play with a nifty pass off the boards.
"That was key for us," Whitney said of the quick goals after Selanne shocked the Canes. "We got scored on yesterday with two quick ones and then a third and we never really could generate anything. Tonight, for our morale it was nice to bounce back to get back into the game and go ahead."
"Those guys are making some great, great plays," Brind'Amour said of his linemates.
Erik Cole iced it with an empty-net goal with 30 seconds left. Carolina's power play was clicking early in this one. Whitney scored on the first man-advantage opportunity 7:42 in and then the Canes registered four shots - three by Scott Walker - a few minutes later when Shane O'Brien went off for holding.
After going 4-for-50 over a 10-game stretch the Hurricanes have scored eight power-play goals over the last five games to move from 27th to 23rd in the NHL with the man advantage.
David Tanabe assisted on the Whitney and Brind'Amour goals in his first game back since Dec. 8, playing 15 minutes. The defenseman has missed 16 games over the last six weeks as a healthy scratch and with a lower body injury.
"I was just thankful to get a chance to play," said Tanabe. "Just coming off that groin injury it just seemed like the season was starting to get to me, but it was nice to get back in. It was one of those nights where I felt nothing was going to go wrong.
Tanabe said his early assist helped his confidence.
"It helped me relax a bit," he said. "I skated just three times in the last three weeks so I knew it was going to feel fast and a bit rusty, but the guys did a good job of supporting me and talking to me and getting me back into the flow. It was good."
Williams, who had his point streak snapped at eight games Thursday night in Buffalo, set up Whitney perfectly in the left circle for his one-timer as part of his two-point night. Meanwhile, Niclas Wallin left with an upper body injury in the second period in his third game back after missing five straight with a lower body injury. He did not return.
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.
|PPG - Ray Whitney (14) ASST: Justin Williams (19), David Tanabe (3)|
1 - 0 CAR
|Teemu Selanne (20) ASST: Scott Niedermayer (26), Michael Wall (1)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Teemu Selanne (21) ASST: Chris Pronger (33), Andy McDonald (24)|
2 - 1 ANA
|PPG - Rod Brind'Amour (13) ASST: Ray Whitney (27), David Tanabe (4)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Justin Williams (19) ASST: Ray Whitney (28), Rod Brind'Amour (31)|
3 - 2 CAR
|PPG - EN - Erik Cole (16) ASST: NONE|
4 - 2 CAR
|Andrew Hutchinson Hooking against Ryan Shannon|
|Chris Pronger Holding the stick against Ray Whitney|
|Shane O'Brien Holding against Eric Staal|
|Trevor Letowski Delaying Game - Puck over glass|
|Eric Staal Interference against Ryan Shannon|
|Sean O'Donnell Holding against Scott Walker|
|Mike Commodore Tripping against Corey Perry|
|Rod Brind'Amour Tripping against Kent Huskins|
|Chris Pronger Hi-sticking against Rod Brind'Amour|
|Eric Staal Hooking against Chris Pronger|
|Chris Pronger Hi-sticking against Eric Staal|
|Chris Pronger Hi-sticking against Eric Staal|
|SA: 26||TOI: 59:16|
|Saves: 23||EV: 15 - 16|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 9|
|SV%: .885||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 27||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 25||EV: 16 - 17|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 8|
|SV%: .926||SH: 2 - 2|