I'm a little late due to complications with Game Center Live and a few other things, but I figured it was better to get the scoring chances from this game posted at some point. There won't be much analysis because I'm sure most of you have seen the game and know what happened by now. I will say that this was a great overall game from the Hurricanes. Despite giving up two goals in the third period, they looked strong for the entire sixty minutes and dominated this contest at even strength by out-chancing the Devils there 15-9. They did get a bit of an advantage thanks to three powerplays and the Devils playing with a shortened benched, but it was one of the better games the Canes played all season. Feel like I've been saying that a lot ever since Kirk Muller took over.
Scoring chances & more after the jump.
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New Jersey Devils 12/26/11 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, New Jersey's are in white
The score reflects the underlying numbers well because the Hurricanes took a 3-0 lead into the third period and they completely dominated New Jersey territorially during that time. The penalty kill was a little weak given they only had one two-minute minor to kill off, but they did score a shorty too so I don't have much to complain about there. Carolina's totals are boosted a little bit because of the special teams numbers but they did control this game for about 3/4 of the time. The third period is where things got a bit dicey but thankfully the Devils only got within one goal.
Individual Scoring Chance Numbers
Best EV Forward: Eric Staal, Chad LaRose & Drayson Bowman +6
Worst EV Forward: Andreas Nodl & Anthony Stewart -2
Best EV Defenseman: Jamie McBain +3
Worst EV Defenseman: Justin Faulk +1
You know it's a good game when the worst rated defenseman has a +1, had the toughest zone starts and was matched up against a line featuring Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac. I can't even begin to describe how happy I will be if Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison can keep up with this kind of performance. It is funny that I was suggesting he should be put in easier assignments because of how badly he was losing the territorial battle in a shutdown role. He's back to playing that now and has done well the last couple of games. Just remember that consistency is the key to success for young players and Faulk is no different.
The top line was pretty unbelievable in this game too even if no one recorded a point. Chad LaRose in particular had a ridiculous game recording six shots on goal and firing 9 at the net. The trio, as a whole, had 18 shots attempts total so they were definitely killing it in terms of possession and that's always a good thing. A breakout game like Staal had against Toronto was bound to happen. Brandon Sutter was at the top of his game defensively, once again and had that nice short-handed goal to boot. I'm a little concerned on how he'll do in the long run without Patrick Dwyer, though.
Head-to-head at five-on-five
This basically reiterates what I said about the team's defensive core (Sutter, Dwyer, Harrison & Faulk) silencing most of the Devils' offensive threats. Anytime you can hold Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise and Travis Zajac to only one scoring chance at even strength, you know you did something right.
|CAR||1||8:47||Sutter - GOAL||5||6||16||30||39||1||2||9||17||23||26||4v5|
|CAR||2||12:59||Ruutu - GOAL||4||6||15||23||30||37||1||2||8||15||26||28||5v5|
|CAR||2||2:47||Stewart - GOAL||5||8||13||14||30||37||1||14||21||23||24||29||5v5|
|NJD||3||7:22||Clarkson - GOAL||4||6||13||14||30||37||1||2||14||18||23||28||5v5|
|NJD||3||2:21||Henrique - GOAL||4||6||15||23||30||36||1||2||8||14||23||28||5v5|