It's already been stated countless times, but special teams (and Cam Ward) were the reason Carolina won yesterday's game against the Sabres. When you score two of your goals shorthanded and one on the powerplay that is generally the case. The scoring chance data reflects the same thing, but a lot more extreme than I had thought. Carolina was outchanced 13-8 at even strength and 20-16 overall, which isn't as bad as I expected it to be, but what really sticks out to me is the five shorthanded chances Carolina had. There are games where we didn't create that many on the powerplay. Buffalo had a very high-risk game plan with how often their defensemen pinched and jumped into the play with the man advantage and it probably cost them the game. Penalties were getting Carolina into trouble last week and they found ways to get themselves out of it last night. Let's not make a habit out of it, though.
More after the jump.
Carolina Hurricanes at Buffalo Sabres 10/14/11 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Five shorthanded chances for the Canes, but they allowed six when down a man as well, which is expected against this Sabres powerplay. This does describe the game pretty well, though. There was a lot of action in the first period (14 total chances between both teams) but it was the Sabres who had the upper-hand throughout at even strength. Those two shorthanded tallies were huge for the Canes at the time because they were getting outplayed so badly and were taking too many penalties. Then the Canes put the Sabres on lockdown for the third period and came so close to finishing the game out in that fashion, but a bad bounce happened. I'm happy with the final result, though.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Jeff Skinner +1
Worst EV Forwards: Brandon Sutter, Patrick Dwyer -3
Best EV Defenseman: Jamie McBain +1
Worst EV Defenseman: Bryan Allen -4
If this doesn't show how much Buffalo controlled the game at even strength then I don't know what does. I know a lot of people aren't going to like seeing Allen have such a low rating but he was on ice for a lot of chances against last night. He was put into a defensive role against a tough line this is what usually happens. Allen did better than most on the penalty kill, though and that counts for a lot in my book. Same can be said for both Sutter and Dwyer. Neither did a lot at even strength but they were studs on the penalty kill last night.
Skinner was great and had one of his stronger games when playing 5-on-5. Think Maurice changing up the lines had a little to do with that. Staal's line was also creating offense but they were giving it back at the other end.
Head-to-Head at even strength
Match-ups are a bit weird because both coaches were jumbling around their lines and defense pairings. The Stafford-Roy-Gerbe line did some work against our top line while the latter group managed to get to the Sabres' first line a little bit. Tyler Myers and Robin Regehr actually struggled in this game, much to my surprise. Maurice's goal by separating Staal and Skinner was to get one of them away from Myers and Skinner. Skinner ended up being matched up with Myers and he actually played very well against him. Makes his performance last night even more impressive.
|BUF||1||13:02||Vanek (possibly tipped in by Roy) - GOAL||12||25||30||36||51||3||9||26||30||44||4v4|
|CAR||1||11:40||Harrison (deflected in front) - GOAL||4||15||23||30||44||59||9||10||21||24||30||5v4|
|BUF||1||9:59||Roy GOAL on rebound||12||30||44||51||53||59||3||9||10||21||30||42||5v5|
|CAR||1||0:14||Sutter - GOAL||4||6||16||30||39||10||17||21||26||30||72||4v5|
|CAR||2||13:01||Brent - GOAL on rebound||5||6||19||30||37||10||17||26||29||30||72||4v5|
|CAR||2||11:37||Staal stuff attempt||4||12||23||30||51||9||21||24||30||57||4v4|
|BUF||3||2:21||Stafford - GOAL
|CAR||3||1:25||Skinner - GOAL