Hello again, Hurricanes fans. Following a(nother) three game road trip, it’s about time for some home games. Before that though, let’s talk about this last three game stretch in California

Game One Anaheim, Wash, Rinse, Repeat- Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but the Canes held a lead in the third period and seemed to have two points in hand, only to watch things unravel and give up a crucial point with a shootout loss. The Canes’ offense finally broke out in this one, particularly the Finnish duo of Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho, who combined for three goals and an assist in this game. However, team defense and closing out a lead was again a problem. At different points in the game the Canes held leads of 3-1, 4-2, and 5-3. That 5-3 lead proved to be the last one, as the Ducks struck twice in the final five minutes of the game and sent it to overtime. For a team trying to get back in the playoff race, every point is precious. The Canes simply cannot afford to keep giving them away like this. Matt’s recap of this game is here.

Canes learn lesson, beat Kings- The Canes bounced back the next night and beat the Kings 3-1 in Los Angeles. Led by the AHL call up duo of Derek Ryan and Brock McGinn, the Canes played a strong game from start to finish. McGinn had a goal and Ryan had two, including a beautiful shorthanded marker in the second on a nice give-and-go play with McGinn that turned out to be the game winner. Drew Doughty did bring the Kings within one with a blast from the point with about seven minutes left, but the Canes held tight this time and grabbed the win. Kudos to Bill Peters for going right back to Cam Ward for this game. Despite his allowing five goals against Anaheim, there was really only one I would pin directly on him. It just comes to show how far he has come in the last month and a half that the coaching staff has so much confidence in him. Here’s Matt’s recap of the Kings game.

Canes play well enough to win but no dice in San Jose– Despite having a very strong offensive game, the Canes fell to the Sharks and red hot rookie goalie Aaron Dell. The game got off to an explosive start as Patrick Marleau struck 12 seconds in on a breakdown in coverage by Hainsey and Faulk. Shortly after Lee Stempniak scored his first goal since October on the power play to tie it at one. Paul Martin promptly gave San Jose the lead back at 2-1. Joakim Nordstrom tied it up with yet another Canes shorthanded goal midway through the second. Unfortunately for the Canes, San Jose once again immediately grabbed the lead back, and then made it 4-2 on a bad rebound by Ward that is something we have not seen from the veteran goalie in awhile. Ryan continued his hot streak and brought the Canes within one on an early third period power play, but the team could not quite find the equalizer. The Canes probably played well enough to get at least a point in this one, but Dell made some very good saves. The officiating in this one left a bit to be desired, especially on a play in the third with the Sharks still up 4-3 when Jeff Skinner was tripped by Brent Burns. It seemed the Canes would get a chance to tie it with a power play that had gone 2-2 on the night, but the officials made an interesting, to say the least, determination that Skinner embellished. Here’s what Matt had to say about the Sharks game.

Join me next week for more hockey as the Canes will finally enjoy some home cooking on a four game home stand!

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