By Brad Gardner
The Blackhawks opened flat and never recovered in Carolina, dropping just their second game of the season in regulation by a score of 3-0. Cam Ward and Corey Crawford dueled through the first two periods, but the Hurricanes were able to break through for a pair of goals in the third to put the Blackhawks away.
The Hawks got a great first shift from the Jonathan Toews line, but Carolina got on the board first just over three minutes into the first period. When the two fourth line centers squared off for a faceoff to Corey Crawford’s left, Tim Brent tied up Marcus Kruger‘s stick and passed back to Tim Gleason at the point. Gleason’s wrist shot was deflected in the slot by Brent, the puck jumping off his stick and into the back of the net.
Later in the period, Patrick Kane was called for a double minor high-sticking penalty at the 14:27 mark of the first. It was actually the stick of Dan Carcillo that clipped Eric Staal just after the faceoff, forcing the Carolina captain to immediately make his way to the dressing room. The Canes power play unit, having gone just 1-for-13 over their last three games, managed only three shots on Crawford during the four minutes of man advantage time.