This may have been Carolina's fourth straight loss but it was also a game where the Hurricanes were the better team. Florida was outchanced 17-13 for the entire game and virtually had no life in the first period but the Canes did not make them pay for it. Once again, some of the blame falls on the powerplay failing to create chances when they had plenty of opportunities (five this time) along with Jose Theodore playing a great game in net for the Cats. It's not the best way to bring in a new coach but I think Kirk Muller could go into the locker room and safely say that his team outplayed the opposition and the wins should come if they can keep outchancing their opponents. He's got a lot of work to do when it comes to fixing the powerplay, though.
Scoring chances & more after the jump.
Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes 11/29/11 Scoring Chances
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Florida had some life in the second period and outchanced the Canes in that frame (thanks to us giving up a shorthanded chance) but the Canes controlled the pace of play overall. Plus, they went into the third period tied and Carolina actually had the upper-hand in scoring chances (4-2) before Shawn Matthias' goal which came after a breakdown in the defensive zone. Carolina could have easily gotten at least a point in this game but failed execution on the powerplay really came back to haunt them in the end.
Individual Scoring Chances
Best EV Forward: Patrick Dwyer +5
Worst EV Forward: Tim Brent -5
Best EV Defenseman: Tim Gleason +4
Worst EV Defenseman: Derek Joslin -2
Patrick Dwyer had his best game of the season and I've been noticing his offensive game flourish more over the past couple of weeks. I don't know what it is but I hope he keeps it up. I can say the same thing about Brandon Sutter as well as he had another strong game. The Ruutu-Staal-Skinner line also had another great game as they definitely had plenty of chances. I should also mention how Ruutu now joins Staal as the newest Canes player to break the 50% mark in scoring chances, so congrats to him. The goals are going to come for these two sooner or later if they keep playing at this pace and Skinner obviously doesn't need much help.
An underlooked thing in this game is how the Ponikarovsky-Jokinen-LaRose line started zero shifts in the offensive zone but two out of three players on this line managed to out-chance their competition and were very good territoriallly. That's going to lead to good things down the road sooner or later but I just wish that Ponikarovsky could be more consistent with his even strength production.
Allen and Gleason were reunited again and were a wall for the most part. Faulk is playing well in terms of creating chances but he's certainly giving up too many in his own end and that's expected from a rookie. Pitkanen had a similar issue but his offensive production has been much superior. Kaberle had a decent game but what everyone remembers best is him losing Shawn Matthais in his own zone and it led to Florida's go-ahead goal. I'm not defending him here because he looked awful on that goal but I still maintain my belief that he hasn't been nearly as bad as most suggest. Joslin was very lack-luster and might be a candidate to go back to the press box once Jay Harrison returns.
Head-to-Head at 5-on-5
Staal, Ruutu and Skinner out-powered the Panthers' top line and did a number on their top defense pairing at even strength. Dineen had these three matched up a lot at even strength which shows how big of a loss Marcel Goc is for the Panthers. Normally, his line would be the one taking this matchup while Weiss would get an easier matchup but he couldn't do that tonight and the results speak for themselves. It is fitting that Matthias ended up with the Panthers second goal, though. Seeing how his line was exposed to an easier matchup with Kaberle & Joslin for most of the game.
Sutter's line were able to most of their matchups and these three were able to keep Santorelli's line quiet for most of the game. The other shutdown duo (Allen-Gleason) won all but one of their matchups. Ponikarovsky also won all of his matchups at even strength.
Pitkanen and Faulk played very well when they were together but you can tell that Faulk struggled a bit when he was away from Pitkanen. They were mainly put up against the Panthers third line and won that matchup convincingly.
Not a great night for the fourth line at all as these three were on ice for zero of the Hurricanes chances and were pinned in their own zone every time they were on the ice. I'm willing to let Nodl slide because it was his first game with the team and I wasn't even expecting him to be in the lineup.
Florida's defense had a rough game overall and the only pairing that had some success was Brian Campbell & Jason Garrison, who were dominated against their toughest matchup but played well against everyone else.
|FLA||2||9:15||Fleischmann - GOAL||5||6||16||19||30||7||9||14||32||51||60||4v5|
|CAR||2||8:11||Skinner - GOAL||12||15||25||28||30||53||12||13||20||44||55||60||5v5|
|FLA||3||12:09||Skille Penalty Shot||19||25||28||30||37||39||12||18||20||43||52||60||5v5|
|FLA||3||3:21||Matthias - GOAL||12||15||27||30||51||53||18||20||43||55||60||82||5v5|