Recaps: Canes take hold of 8th spot, Panthers slip past Sharks
For a recap of Islanders-Sabres, Kings-Flyers and Penguins-Rangers, click here. If you ended up missing the game, here’s a rundown of the NBC Game of the Week between Boston and Detroit. Now let’s get on to the two supper-time games. We’ll recap Anaheim-Edmonton later tonight.
The Hurricanes took sole possession of the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference over the Thrashers in what had to be a dispiriting loss for Atlanta. The Canes won the game in regulation despite being out-shot 14-4 in the third period and 43-17 overall. (Atlanta also had a frustrating second period, leaving the middle frame tied despite putting 15 more shots on net than Carolina.)
Cam Ward came up huge for the ‘Canes, stopping 41 of the 43 shots he faced. It’s hard not to pin some of the blame on the Thrashers’ workhorse goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who allowed three goals on only 17 shots, but he had some tough breaks in the game.
If the Canes make the playoffs at the expense of the Thrashers, it might be as simple as this fact: Carolina has beaten their division rivals five times in a row now.
Statheads will probably cringe at this, but it’s hard to argue with how “clutch” Erik Cole has been this season. Six of his 16 goals have been game-winners this season, including this late-game soul-crusher.
Relief came pretty late for the Panthers, but they finally got a five-game home losing streak off their shoulders with their come-from-behind victory over the Sharks. This also keeps their playoff hopes alive, which is a double-edged sword for Florida fans who have been to that rodeo before.
The Sharks have lost two games in a row, sliding them all the way down to seventh place in the West. Talk about a “what have you done for me lately?” conference.