RALEIGH — In a rematch of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Edmonton Oilers 7-1 tonight at the RBC Center.
Before many of the 11,890 fans in attendance had found their seats, Carolina jumped out to an early lead. The Hurricanes scored less than a minute after the opening faceoff, and three goals in the first five minutes of play.
Just 26 seconds into the game, Brandon Sutter carried the puck into the offensive zone and got a shot on goal. The rebound fell right to Patrick Dwyer, who knocked the puck into the net with his skate, giving Carolina an early 1-0 advantage. The play was reviewed by officials, but it was determined that the puck was not sent into the net with a kicking motion, and the goal stood.
Less than a minute later, Erik Cole scored from right in front of the net, putting the Hurricanes up 2-0. Joe Corvo and Chad LaRose added two more first period goals, sending a dejected Oilers squad down by four heading into the first intermission.
“We weren’t ready to start the game,” Edmonton forward Sam Gagne said. “We have to be ready, and we have to force the issue better than we did.”
Edmonton’s ultimate downfall was their inability to stay out of the penalty box. Three of the Hurricanes’ seven goals were scored on the power play, including two in the first five minutes of the game, preventing the Oilers any opportunity to build momentum. The Oilers committed eight penalties in total.
“We all needed to be better than we were tonight,” Edmonton head coach Tom Renney said. “It was a lesson learned, and we don’t need to go into any more detail than that.”
In a matchup that pinned two top rookies against each other, Jeff Skinner outshined his counterpart Taylor Hall. Skinner registered a goal and two assists, earning the first star of the game. Hall failed to get on the score sheet, and only received 54 seconds of ice time in the third period.
“It seemed like every bounce went our way this game, but we earned them,” Skinner said. “We came out hard right from the first shift.”
While the Oilers are far from an elite team, Carolina did everything right tonight, and that’s all Hurricanes fans can ask for.
Not only did the ‘Canes win a matchup they were expected to win, they dominated every aspect of the game.
“I liked our work ethic,” said head coach Paul Maurice. “[Edmonton] got a little better at times, but we were pretty disciplined in how we played.”
After being shutout in their first two home games, the Hurricanes have scored 17 goals in the past three contests at the RBC Center, and have risen above .500 at home.
Carolina returns to action Thursday night against Sidney Crosby and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the RBC Center.