Lack Shines But Canes Shut Out in Preseason Opener
The Carolina Hurricanes opened their six-game preseason slate in Washington, D.C., on Monday night, dropping a closely contested 2-0 decision to the Capitals.
-- Eddie Lack was sharp as a tack in his Hurricanes debut. He played the first two periods in net and shined especially bright in the middle frame when the Caps peppered him with 18 of the 22 shots he faced and stopped. It was an impressive first appearance in net for Lack, who will certainly battle Cam Wardto be the starting goaltender come Oct. 8.
-- Tom Wilson and Derek Roy found the back of the net in the third period to lift the Capitals over the Hurricanes. Wilson’s shot was a bullet from the slot that beat Drew MacIntyre, who replaced Lack in net after 40 minutes. Roy’s shot trickled into the net to cement the Caps’ advantage.
-- The Hurricanes were dominant in the circle, winning 43 of 66 draws (65 percent). Brody Sutter won 10 of 13 (77 percent) and Jordan Staal won 14 of 19 (74 percent) in the dot.
-- The Hurricanes will thrice experiment with 3-on-3 overtime in the preseason. Tonight was round one, and it was pretty. Evgeny Kuznetsov missed the net high and wide at one end, and the Canes were off to the races 3-on-1. Eric Staal dished to Ryan Murphy who gave it back to Staal who slid it across to Kris Versteeg for the tap in. Though it didn’t ultimately mean anything – Washington had already won the game, 2-0 – it was still a pretty goal and a preview of what’s ahead in the regular season.
-- Preseason hockey – especially the early games – is sometimes not the prettiest hockey. There’s some rust to be shaken off in first-game situations, there are some systems kinks to iron out and there remains a lot of learning to be had. But that’s why the preseason exists, and the other half of the 49 players remaining on the Canes’ training camp roster will see game action on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.