The Carolina Hurricanes couldn’t keep up with the Florida Panthers Saturday night. They lost 5-1 in their season opener. The Canes had a brutal first period that ended in the score 4-0. For the first game, none of the new additions to the team stood out much. Although it was a rough loss, I did find three positives in the game.
The Hurricanes fourth line of Drayson Bowman, Patrick Dwyer, and Tim Brent played extremely well. Dwyer scored the lone goal for the Canes after tipping a slap pass from defenseman Joni Pitkanen. Bowman led the team with five shots and was arguably the Canes best player. Brent was also solid on the line.
The first defense pairing of Justin Faulk and Pitkanen had a decent game. Both players were a plus-1 and had an assist on the lone goal by Dwyer. Faulk had three shots and didn’t look bad in his own zone. The two defensemen were the only ones for the Canes who looked like they knew what they were doing.
Cam Ward was pulled after the first period after letting in four goals, not that he had much help from his team. Dan Ellis came in and played very well. He only let one goal get past him and left with a 0.923 save percentage. His first save of the game was on a breakaway from Tomas Fleischmann. The Canes have struggled in the past with finding a solid backup goaltender, but Ellis certainly looked like he was up for the job.