|EDM||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 1, 2008) – An ultra successful road trip was quickly forgotten Saturday after the Carolina Hurricanes saw a potential two points fly out the window in the final 1:28 against an Edmonton Oilers team that was riding a five-game losing streak.
It was admittedly not the Canes’ best effort of the season, but with the score tied 1-1 in the third and a line shakeup by coach Peter Laviolette adding some jump after two periods of mediocre play, Cam Ward was caught slightly out of position after a solid 58 minutes and allowed the puck to slip under his shoulder off the stick of Ethan Moreau en route to a 3-1 loss at the RBC Center.
“When you have a game like today your best players have to be at their absolute best, so I take it away from Cam,” Laviolette said. “Generally speaking, our top players needed to be better than what they were. Our top players have to be more of a factor.”
“That one went in, but there were four or five tonight that Cam stopped that should have gone in, so he kept us in position to win,” added Ray Whitney.
Laviolette singled out Rod Brind’Amour’s play as an exception as he won 19 of 26 faceoffs and played a forward-high 23:45, but lost a key faceoff with Ward pulled for an extra attacker just moments after a review of an Eric Staal shot was ruled not to have crossed the goal line. Seconds later, Moreau sealed it with an empty-net goal.
Erik Cole, traded to the Oilers in the offseason for Joni Pitkanen, returned to the ice he called home for six seasons and received a standing ovation early in the first period as the scoreboard welcomed the crowd favorite back to town. Cole finished with two shots and eight of his club’s 21 hits.
“He’s tough, he’s fast and he’s very strong,” said Carolina defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. “He tried to get me every time he could. It was kind of annoying, but that’s the way he plays and that’s what makes him good. When you practice against him you know how strong and how fast he is, especially those first couple of steps.”
Carolina’s power play failed them again. The Canes came into the game ranked 27th out of 30 teams, and after an 0-for-6 effort, find themselves 6-for-50 with the man advantage 10 games into the season.
“I don’t know if it’s killing us, that’s kind of drastic to say, but certainly the power play is going to have to win you some games and it won us a game in St. Louis the other night,” Whitney said. “Our power play needs to be better. I don’t think in general we came out and played as hungry as we should have coming back home. I don’t say by any means we deserve to win that game, but we didn’t deserve to lose it either.”
Carolina’s first three power plays didn’t amount to much as the man-advantage effort continued to struggle, but the Oilers capitalized on their first opportunity with the extra attacker 6:45 into the second to tie it at 1-1. Cole drew the penalty and was a pest in front of Ward on the power play, helping distract the Carolina goalie, who made the initial stop on Shawn Horcoff before kicking it into the cage with his own pads.
Laviolette even called a time out halfway through the second to try to fire up the troops, but two more power plays in the period amounted to little offense as the puck bounced over various sticks and passes couldn’t connect as the Oilers kept the Canes on the perimeter for the most part.
Ward kept the game even after Carolina’s first power play ended when Ethan Moreau broke free with a pass after exiting the box. But Ward stoned the Edmonton captain on his breakaway attempt and subsequent rebound.
Carolina cashed in on its first-period breakaway three minutes later when Whitney took a long pass from Tim Gleason at the blue line and then beat Dwayne Roloson between the legs.
Later in the period, Edmonton hit the post and Ward stopped Ales Hemsky on the doorstep to kept the Canes on top 1-0 after 20 minutes.
“Any time is a dangerous time to lose games,” Laviolette said. “We missed the playoffs last season by two points so any points you don’t pick up are points that you risk down the line.”
NOTES: Whitney’s goal was his first since the season opener, a span of eight games. … Pitkanen missed the first game against his former team while he recovers from minor knee surgery. … Sergei Samsonov is still without a point through 10 games. … Matt Cullen missed some of the third period with an undisclosed injury after recording a team-best six shots. … Six of Carolina’s first 10 games have been decided by one goal. The Canes are 3-3 in those contests after going 18-15 in one-goal games last season.
|Ray Whitney (2) ASST: Tim Gleason (5), Tuomo Ruutu (2)|
1 - 0 CAR
|PPG - Shawn Horcoff (4) ASST: Ales Hemsky (8), Lubomir Visnovsky (2)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Ethan Moreau (2) ASST: NONE|
2 - 1 EDM
|EN - Ethan Moreau (3) ASST: Lubomir Visnovsky (3), Shawn Horcoff (2)|
3 - 1 EDM
|Ethan Moreau Hi-sticking against Matt Cullen|
|Tuomo Ruutu Fighting against Ethan Moreau|
|Ethan Moreau Fighting against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Ethan Moreau Instigator against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Ethan Moreau Misconduct against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Sheldon Souray Hooking against Rod Brind'Amour|
|Dennis Seidenberg Hooking against Erik Cole|
|Shawn Horcoff Hooking against Niclas Wallin|
|Lubomir Visnovsky Tripping against Joe Corvo|
|Steve Staios Interference against Patrick Eaves|
|Dennis Seidenberg Cross checking against Andrew Cogliano|
|Anton Babchuk Slashing against Erik Cole|
|SA: 34||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 33||EV: 23 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 8 - 8|
|SV%: .971||SH: 2 - 2|
|SA: 31||TOI: 59:35|
|Saves: 29||EV: 27 - 28|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 2|
|SV%: .935||SH: 1 - 1|