The Carolina Hurricanes (6-6) finally gave their fans something to cheer about in opening the scoring flood gates in a dominating 7-2 win over the New York Islanders (4-6-2) at the RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday night. Not only did the Hurricanes win their first game at home, but they also scored their first goals as they had lost their previous two home games by scores of 3-0 against the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rookie Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist as his move to playing on the top line with captain Eric Staal (1G, 1A) and Chad LaRose (2A) ignited the Hurricanes offense with its largest output so far this season.
Defense plays offense
Defenseman Joe Corvo scored the Hurricanes’ first goal of the season at the RBC Center at 9:48 of the first period as Skinner and Larose caused a turnover behind the Islanders net that gave Corvo a wide open look from the point to blast it past goaltender Rick Dipietro. Corvo finished +4 on the night as fellow blueliners Anton Babchuk (1A, +1) and Jay Harrison (1A, +2) provided additional offensive support. For the Hurricanes, this was a good development to see from its backline corps as it helped to balance and spread the offense effectively.
Roster changes spark energy and output
Coach Paul Maurice’s placement of Skinner onto the top line and the recent call-up of center Jon Matsumoto from Charlotte sparked some energy at the other end of the rink as Matsumoto made the best of his opportunity on the fourth line in scoring two goals with support from linemates Sergei Samonsonov (3A) and Tom Kostopoulos (2A). Skinner now leads the team in overall points (4G, 6A) followed by Staal (4G, 5A) and Erik Cole (2G, 4A). Matsumoto’s 59% faceoff win ratio also led the ‘Canes in maintaining possession of the puck throughout the game.
Get it done
As the offense continues to develop and get readjusted, the Hurricanes are slowly forming line combinations that can generate a lot of offense from top to bottom on the depth chart. Goals by Brandon Sutter and Jiri Tlusty from the third line also contributed to the offensive outpouring against the Islanders which will become more important as the season progresses. As the saying goes, ‘offense sells tickets and defense wins games’. Others will pose it as a ‘good defense is a great offense’. Whichever way you look at it, the Hurricanes did it right on Wednesday night for a great win at home.
Next up: Carolina Hurricanes at Florida Panthers – Fri. Nov. 5 – 7:30 pm – GameCenter (nhl.com)
Follow the Raleigh Sports Examiner on Twitter: pksport
Follow the Raleigh Sports Examiner Blog
Get Daily Reports from the Raleigh Sports Examiner: press Subscribe above