Seeing how this was the first game that both teams played in about a week, it was expected that we would get a sloppy game last night and that's certainly what happened. Most of the game was a neutral zone struggle, there were tons of great chances that were fanned on and the defensive play was very loose. It did lead to some entertaining saves by Cam Ward and Kevin Poulin, though. The 5-2 final score is a tad misleading because the Islanders scored twice with the empty net but the fact of the matter is that neither team played that well, but the Hurricanes got into penalty trouble (four consecutive minors) and the Islanders burned them twice on the powerplay. Carolina's play at even strength wasn't bad, but they weren't doing enough and made some horrific mistakes at the worst times (see Tavares' first goal). Definitely not a game to remember, but not a "burn the tape" type of game either.
Scoring chances & more after the jump
Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders 1/31/12 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Carolina's chances are in red, New York's are in white
Those early powerplays really helped out the Islanders get a big advantage over Carolina. They had four opportunities, created exactly one scoring chance on each and two of them ended up being goals. The opportunities with the man advantage eventually began to work in Carolina's favor in the third period when they were trying to come back from a 2-0 deficit because they were given two powerplays in the third, scored on one (which was a bit of a fluky goal) and was more efficient than the Isles' PP when it came to creating chances. The difference was New York being able to score more frequently on their powerplays.
The play at even strength was pretty uneventful for both teams, although the Canes really should have been able to do more in the second and third periods. They were trailing for most of that time and creating only four total scoring chances during two periods of even strength play isn't going to win you a lot of games.
Individual Scoring Chance Numbers:
Best EV Forward: Andreas Nodl, Patrick Dwyer +2
Worst EV Forward: Jussi Jokinen & Tuomo Ruutu -2
Best EV Defenseman: Justin Faulk & Jay Harrison +3
Worst EV Defenseman: Tim Gleason -3
You can put some of our even strength struggles on Tuomo Ruutu & Jussi Jokinen as these two were nearly invisible out there and it caused Muller to re-unite them with Jeff Skinner which didn't seem to do much. These two barely saw any powerplay time either as both Tim Brent and Riley Nash were used before them and going by the numbers, they earned it. Brent even recorded his seventh goal of the season.
As far as the Riley Nash experiment goes, he didn't seem to do much at even strength and was put on the fourth line towards the end of the game. It seems that Nash needs more space to work with to have success at the NHL level and that's probably why he performed well on the powerplay.
The Nodl-Sutter-Dwyer line had another great game and it was obvious that Sutter was the one driving the van tonight. He was very active in the offensive zone with 11 shots attempted and seemed to be our best forward tonight. Staal was right behind him only he did most of his work on special teams rather than even strength.
It is a crime that Justin Faulk was tagged with a -2 for this game for being on ice for the two empty net goals. He was our best defenseman by a longshot and had one of his strongest games as a Hurricane. Both he and Jay Harrison did a solid job tonight.
Tim Gleason's first game after signing a new contract didn't go so well. He was outchanced by a wider margin than any other player and made a few really costly mistakes in his own zone. Both him and Bryan Allen made huge misplays on Tavares' first goal and it gave the Islanders the lead less than a minute after the Canes tied the game. Both were also on ice for all four chances the Canes gave up on the penalty kill. There will be brighter days for these two.
Head-to-head at five-on-five