The Carolina Hurricanes were a confident team following Monday’s 3-2 loss and with two days off, they will look at the positives from game 1.
After Pittsburgh dictated the play in the 1st period, jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Hurricanes were able to weather the storm and play even with the Penguins for the final 40 minutes.
After Joe Corvo cut the Penguins lead to 3-2 with less than two minutes remaining in the game, the Hurricanes were a puck bouncing off of Eric Staal’s stick in front of a wide open net from forcing over-time.
The goaltending matchup was nearly even with Marc Andre Fleury one up on Cam Ward.
Two concerns for the Hurricanes going into game 2
1. Secondary Scoring – Relying on Eric Staal to carry the Hurricanes offensively will not get it done against the Penguins. Staal does not have a top flight winger on his line and the Penguins were able to neutralize Staal for the most part.
The Canes are getting little production from Tuomo Ruutu and Eric Cole. To make matters worse, both players are banged up and their status for game 2 is up in the air.
2. Can the Hurricanes limit the Penguins attack?
Pittsburgh managed 31 shots on goal and the Hurricanes struggled to slow the Penguins forwards in the neutral zone. They were able to gain the offensive zone with speed and puck possession.
Limiting the Penguins to under 30 shots will be a tough task for the Canes.
Stat of the Day
Carolina has now lost Game 1 in each of its three playoff series this year. Dating back to their 2006 Stanley Cup run, the Hurricanes have won their last five postseason series after losing the opener (Source: ESPN Stats)
Comments have been disabled for this post.