Hurricanes 5, Canucks 3
At least for a game, Erik Cole and the Carolina Hurricanes
played like contenders again.
Cole scored three goals and the Hurricanes held off the
Vancouver Canucks for a 5-3 victory Saturday, ending their
Carolina (6-17-5), which made the Eastern Conference finals last
season, has the league’s worst record.
“It could have been four or five (goals) tonight,” Carolina
coach Paul Maurice said of Cole, who missed 10 October games with a
broken leg. “I think he has been skating much better. When he
skates like that he’s a handful, and it opens up the ice for
Cole’s sixth career hat trick was his first multigoal game for
Carolina since he was reacquired from Edmonton on March 4.
“We’re still a little bit under fire,” Cole said. “They
weren’t just coming at us with three and four guys. They had four
and five guys on every rush and pressed us back on our heels. When
you’ve had things go wrong like we’ve had in the past, maybe it’s a
little bit easier for something like that to creep back in.”
Ray Whitney had a goal and two assists for Carolina, which ended
Vancouver’s three-game road winning streak. The loss was the
Canucks’ first in six games against Eastern Conference opposition
Carolina goalie Manny Legace stopped 33 shots while Vancouver’s
Andrew Raycroft had 23 saves.
“It’s huge, especially weathering the storm in the third
period,” Legace said. “The last couple of games we’ve kind of
shut her down in the third and teams have taken advantage of
Jannik Hansen put the Canucks ahead at 12:02 of the first,
beating Legace on a soft shot over his glove-side shoulder from the
right circle. Henrik Sedin set up the goal.
But Whitney evened the score for Carolina just 20 seconds later,
taking a pass from Eric Staal in the left circle and flipping a
backhanded shot over Raycroft’s left shoulder.
Cole put Carolina ahead 2-1 at 3:55 of the second, taking a snap
wrist shot from the slot off a pass from Whitney. Sergei Samsonov
made it a two-goal lead at 6:06, beating Raycroft over the left
shoulder from the right circle.
Carolina made it 4-1 on a power play at 18:59 of the second,
when Raycroft appeared to simply lose the puck out of his glove
before it slid across the line. Cole, the last Hurricane to touch
it, was credited with his second goal.
Steve Bernier brought the Canucks back to 4-2 at 10:07 of the
third, receiving Mikael Samuelsson’s pass from behind the goal and
across the crease, tipping the puck off Legace’s left skate into
Vancouver cut the lead again at 14:45 of the third, as Alexandre
Burrows picked Daniel Sedin’s pass from behind the net out of the
air and smacked the puck past Legace.
“Their top players certainly played a really strong game, but
for whatever reason again we had a second period that’s tough to
explain,” Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said.
Cole scored his third goal into an empty net at 19:46.
NOTES: Carolina’s Aaron Ward collected his 100th career assist
on Whitney’s goal. … Scott Walker was back in the lineup for
Carolina and started after missing eight games with an upper-body
injury. It was the former Canuck’s 200th game for Carolina. …
Carolina forward Jussi Jokinen was scratched with a lower-body
injury, while Chad LaRose missed his third straight game with a