|ATL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
Even the highest scoring team in the NHL has scoring slumps.
That’s the predicament the Carolina Hurricanes find themselves in after falling to the Atlanta Thrashers 3-0 Friday night to start an important four-game homestand.
The loss comes on the heels of a 6-1 defeat at Tampa Bay on Wednesday night, meaning a team averaging 3.6 goals a game has been able to light the lamp just once in the last 120 minutes.
“We’re just not executing things right now and we’re a step slow,” said Bret Hedican. “When we get the puck to the net we’re just not getting there for the rebounds or after our D-to-D passes up high in the offensive zone we’re just not getting shots on the net. We’ve got to get back on track.
“I don’t think we take anything for granted offensively, but we’ve had a lot of success getting the puck to the net and maybe it’s frustrating for us,” added Hedican. “But we can’t let it get to us. We’ve got to get back to the drawing board.”
After a hot start at the RBC Center this season, the Canes are just 2-3 in their last five at home, losing back-to-back regulation games for the first time this season while falling to 4-5 against Southeast Division rivals.
“It’s done,” said captain Rod Brind’Amour. “We can’t dwell on this too much because we come right back tomorrow. That’s the good news. This game will be put on the backburner and we can come out and have a good game.”
Atlanta is dead last in the league killing penalties, but Carolina couldn’t manage any offense against the Thrashers on three power plays through two periods and went to the locker room down two goals.
Laviolette tried to fire the team up with a timeout with 7:51 left in the second, but the move did little to jump start the Canes.
Atlanta iced it with 58.3 seconds left with an empty net goal.
Carolina did manage 31 shots, but not many top scoring chances existed in that bunch and Atlanta blocked 27 shots.
“That’s not like us, scoring just one goal in two games with the personnel we have up front,” said Mike Commodore. “I know they’re working hard at it. We just couldn’t get anything to go in.”
Marion Hossa entered the game with 41 points in 40 career games against Carolina and quickly added to that total with two first period goals as Atlanta grabbed a 2-0 lead. Hossa got behind Ray Whitney on the rush less than six minutes in to get the Thrashers on the board first. The right wing then gave Atlanta a two-goal lead with five minutes left in the opening period when he beat Cam Ward on a 2-on-1 after Hedican got caught up ice.
“We just didn’t get to that prime scoring area tonight,” said Laviolette. “We had a lot of shots come in from the outside and they blocked a lot of shots and they boxed us out. We didn’t seem to get a lot of clean chances.
Atlanta had scored just 10 goals in the first period through 18 games prior to Friday night.
“We came out pretty good in the first and we had a breakdown and it was in our net and we’re down 1-0 quick,” Laviolette said. “We seemed to lose a little bit of steam as the game went on, just from a jump and puck possession point.”
NOTES: Laviolette coached in his 400th NHL game … Whitney picked up his first penalty of the season 21 seconds into the third period. … Carolina has yet to score a shorthanded goal. … Andrew Ladd returned to the lineup after missing 16 of the team’s first 19 games with an ankle injury. Ladd played 12 minutes and 34 seconds in his return. … Brind’Amour won 17 of 24 face-offs and Eric Staal took 12 of 18. … The Canes killed off all four Atlanta power plays and have now killed 23 of 24 over the last seven games.
|Marian Hossa (8) ASST: Todd White (8), Ilya Kovalchuk (11)|
1 - 0 ATL
|Marian Hossa (9) ASST: Todd White (9)|
2 - 0 ATL
|EN - Ilya Kovalchuk (16) ASST: Marian Hossa (6), Toby Enstrom (7)|
3 - 0 ATL
|Jim Slater Tripping against Chad LaRose|
|Alexei Zhitnik Tripping against Chad LaRose|
|Rod Brind'Amour Hooking against Pascal Dupuis|
|Justin Williams Holding the stick against Toby Enstrom|
|Bobby Holik Tripping against Chad LaRose|
|Ray Whitney Hooking against Marian Hossa|
|Ken Klee Holding against Chad LaRose|
|Matt Cullen Hooking against Niclas Havelid|
|SA: 31||TOI: 59:53|
|Saves: 31||EV: 24 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 7|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 24||TOI: 59:01|
|Saves: 22||EV: 15 - 17|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .917||SH: 2 - 2|