Carolina Hurricanes Recap: Deep in the Heart of Texas Darkness

Trying to rebound from a bad loss to the Capitals, the Carolina Hurricanes drop another game to the Dallas Stars

Well, here we are, folks.  Another demoralizing loss to start another losing streak just after we got out of one.  After the drubbing by the Washington Capitals, this game looked a lot easier for Carolina Hurricanes fans.  Dallas, like Carolina, had been troubled by goaltending issues all season as well.  Kere Lehtonen and Antti Niemi both have been pretty dreadful for the Stars this year.  Add goaltending in with the many injuries plaguing the team, and it leads to a very disappointment performance for the team that won the Central Division last season.

This Stars team was 2-5-2 in their last ten and looked ripe to give the Hurricanes a sorely needed win on the road.  It was not to be, though, as the Stars piled on five goals against the Hurricanes.  To be honest the Hurricanes didn’t look that bad in their play against the team but rather just a few unlucky bounces happened to go the Stars way this game.  And with Cam Ward returning to full pumpkin mode the lack of key saves put the Hurricanes in an early hole that they couldn’t climb out of.  Although despite going down three goals early, most Stars fan felt the Hurricanes still had a shot:

First Period

Yeah, things started out bad and they didn’t get much better for the Hurricanes.  In less than a minute the Stars were already on the board from a blocked shot in their own defensive zone:

Pesce does a good job of playing the pass, but Ward can’t handle the shot and the Stars are on the board.  Sure, Slavin is a little aggressive trying to keep the puck in, but the majority of the time this play doesn’t result in a goal.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the Stars third goal didn’t happen almost exactly the same way:

Like Slavin, Hanifin tries to keep the puck in and it just hops over his stick to the Stars player.  And in addition, the Stars needed, even more, luck as Tennyson blocks the cross crease only to direct it into the net. All and all not a great period for the Hurricanes despite some good play by Aho especially.

Second Period

The second period starts with the Stars on a power play and they are able to sustain play against the Carolina Hurricanes for the starting minutes of the period.  The Canes are able to push back though and a good possession by the Staal/Lindholm/Aho line leads to this beauty of a shot by Aho for a goal:

The Aho/Lindholm connection could be something really great for the Hurricanes here in the next couple years.  This wasn’t even one of Aho’s best chances the kid was the Hurricanes best player last night.  Unfortunately, the Stars would push the lead back to three on the power play later in the period.  The power play resulted from a horrible call by the ref because Brett Pesce put his hand on another player’s shoulder.  I mean, I thought we came here to play hockey ref not call check fouls like in the NBA.  Speaking of NBA there was this sick by rejection by Victor Rask on a definite goal:

Third Period

Justin Faulk scored to cut the lead to two and to give people a reminder why trading him would be a stupid idea.  Aho continued to be a terror in this period as well, but Lehtonen just continued to play out of character and keep pucks out of the net.  But their last goal I think just sums up the entire Hurricanes season all in one shot:

Yep, Slavin put a stick on the puck and it pops up and over Cam Ward’s shoulder and down his back into the net.  Ultimately though I think the Hurricanes played well in this game and I’d really on put the second goal as a result of poor play.  Still, this was a game the Carolina Hurricanes could ill afford to lose.  This along with the surging Islanders probably puts the Hurricanes playoff hopes to rest.  At least the trade deadline will be interesting for the Hurricanes now.

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