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Scoring First Nice, but not Always Necessary

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes

Most would agree that the Hurricanes’ biggest problem leading up to yesterday’s win in Philadelphia was coming out with the right kind of intensity in the first period.

Paul Branecky
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That being said, it must have been a little frustrating to go to the locker room down 1-0 after a strong opening frame against the Flyers.  The goal they did allow was an unlucky deflection off Joni Pitkanen’s stick, which was correctly positioned to block a cross-crease pass to a Flyer who would have had an awful good look at an open net.

Fortunately for the Hurricanes, they didn’t let that frustration get to them en route to an eventual 3-2 overtime win.

“You can’t leave the first period where you’ve done the right things but you’re down 1-0 , go in and throw the table around,” said coach Peter Laviolette.

”In the tough times like this you still have to believe in your thing, believe in your system, play in the system and try hard,” said Tuomo Ruutu, who scored the Canes’ second goal.  “I don’t think there’s any other way to bounce back.”

Still, the Canes would like to get on the board first for a change, something they haven’t done in their last nine games.  In some of those games they haven’t come out with the determination they would have liked, but to say that’s happened in all nine contests would be premature.  In hockey, good early efforts don't always translate to early goals for one reason or another.

”I don’t know what to say about that,” said Laviolette.  “It happens.  Same thing yesterday [in Philadelphia].  We killed it the way we wanted to kill it, we gave up the shots I guess you want to give up.  It was a low play they just threw to the front of the net and it goes off our stick and into the net.  There’s not much you can do about it.”

The Canes are 4-5-0 during the current streak of trailing first, showing it isn’t necessarily the key to winning the game.  Wins over Montreal, Phoenix and Philadelphia were all solid, consistent efforts, even if they did have to mount a small comeback.

“What really matters is the score at the end of the night, but in saying that I’d like to score the first goal,” said Laviolette.  “That would be nice.”

Laviolette said that Tim Gleason, Dennis Seidenberg and Scott Walker are all doubtful for tomorrow’s game against the Ducks.

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