|PHI||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
Flyers Spoil Hurricanes' Party
Flavor of the Game 700K
RALEIGH, N.C. (DEC. 31, 2006) - It was a fitting final few days to the halfway point of the 2006-07 season for the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes beat Anaheim, the best team in the Western Conference, on Friday night only to lose 5-2 to lowly Philadelphia on New Year's Eve despite outshooting the Flyers 42-19.
The Canes had an opportunity to go a season-best seven games over .500, but had to settle for a 21-16-4 mark for fifth best in the Eastern Conference. Not bad considering 150-man games lost to injury, a heavy road schedule and a poor start after winning the Stanley Cup.
"I'm looking forward to a New Year, to turn the page on this season," said Carolina coach Peter Laviolette, who watched the worst team in the Eastern Conference go up 4-1 in a span of 1:25 in the third period after a crazy bounce off the corner boards and a breakaway goal. "It would have been nice to get it done tonight, but it is almost fitting to the way the first 41 games went.
"Overall, through a lot of adversity, we put ourselves in a position in the standings where we're talking about catching Atlanta, catching Montreal and Buffalo. Those are in our sights in the second half of the season."
Ray Whitney scored Carolina's two goals and had a chance to pull the Canes to within 4-3 less than two minutes after he scored his second midway through the third, but Robert Esche made a shoulder save and covered the puck up as it bounced behind him and close to the goal line.
"That's just the way it seemed to bounce tonight," Laviolette said. "Their goal off the end boards was just a fluke. We had backdoor, open opportunities, half empty-net chances and things just didn't bounce our way."
"That would have been ice to get within one and still have some time left," added Whitney. "We put ourselves in a tough spot at that point."
The Hurricanes outshot the Flyers 18-3 in the second period, but allowed a goal with 12.9 seconds left to head into the third down 2-1. Cam Ward was hit in the crease by Peter Forsberg on the Philly goal, but no goalie interference was called.
"In my opinion he took him out," Laviolette said. "Based on the interpretations I was given last year the goaltender has to have every opportunity to make the play and he did not."
Ward argued the call, but to no avail.
"I'm not that kind of player, I'm not going to over exaggerate anything like maybe some others do," Ward said when asked if he would have gotten the call had he fallen down.
"The ref was telling me I was outside the crease and so was he. But he doesn't have to be in the crease to interfere with me."
Ward, who had his five-game winning streak snapped, was also disappointed by the crazy bounce that caught him off guard on a Philly dump in, leading to an easy goal and a 3-1 deficit.
"I've seen it a couple of times in this building in the same corner, but never has it cost us a game," Ward said. "It's one of those things you really can't control. It's out of your hands. It's an unfortunate break."
Whitney had tied the score at 1-1 midway through the period on the power play, corralling a bouncing puck from Eric Belanger and one-timing it past Robert Esche. However, the Canes managed just one goal despite five power plays in the period. Carolina won one goal review and lost another in a span of 16 seconds late in the first period to go down 1-0 after a period.
Mike Knuble batted a puck out of the air and past Ward, but referee Wes McCauley immediately waved off the goal, ruling that Knuble hit the puck with a high stick. After a long review, McCauley's call was held up by replay officials.
McCauley stopped play seconds later to review a shot by Simon Gagne that looked at first glance that it hit the crossbar and bounced up. However, a review of the play clearly showed the puck hitting camera inside the net as the Flyers took the early lead.
Whitney's two goals gave him 44 points, second-best on the team.
"From the time he came to training camp he has been consistent night in and night out," Laviolette said.
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.
|Simon Gagne (20) ASST: Peter Forsberg (14)|
1 - 0 PHI
|PPG - Ray Whitney (15) ASST: Eric Belanger (8), David Tanabe (5)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Alexei Zhitnik (4) ASST: Todd Fedoruk (6), Peter Forsberg (15)|
2 - 1 PHI
|Ryan Potulny (2) ASST: Todd Fedoruk (7), Ben Eager (3)|
3 - 1 PHI
|Kyle Calder (4) ASST: Jeff Carter (7)|
4 - 1 PHI
|Ray Whitney (16) ASST: Eric Belanger (9), Rod Brind'Amour (32)|
4 - 2 PHI
|PPG - EN - Mike Knuble (15) ASST: Peter Forsberg (16)|
5 - 2 PHI
|Mike Knuble Hooking against Erik Cole|
|Erik Cole Tripping against Alexei Zhitnik|
|Kyle Calder Holding against David Tanabe|
|Randy Jones Tripping against Ray Whitney|
|Derian Hatcher Roughing against Andrew Hutchinson|
|Robert Esche Delay of game|
|Mike Knuble Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Mike Knuble Holding against Craig Adams|
|Justin Williams Holding against Kyle Calder|
|Erik Cole Tripping against Todd Fedoruk|
|Chad LaRose Abuse of officials - bench|
|Justin Williams Charging against Dimitri Afanasenkov|
|Niclas Wallin Roughing against Ben Eager|
|Derian Hatcher Cross checking against Justin Williams|
|Ben Eager Roughing against Niclas Wallin|
|SA: 42||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 40||EV: 33 - 34|
|PIM: 2||PP: 7 - 8|
|SV%: .952||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 18||TOI: 59:01|
|Saves: 14||EV: 14 - 18|
|PIM: 0||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .778||SH: 0 - 0|