Canes in command
Cory Stillman scored a goal that was both pretty and pretty easy at the end of the second period Wednesday, putting an emphatic stamp on a home sweep of the Edmonton Oilers in the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals. The Canes won 5-0 over the Oilers.
In the same month and the same building in which he was hailed as the future, Ladd, 20, became the man of the moment Wednesday by scoring the first and winning goal in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, a 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
For the goal, the Canes’ 2004 No. 1 pick combined with the Canes’ 2003 top pick, Eric Staal, on a two-on-one rush. Ladd took the pass from Staal and wristed the puck off a defenseman’s skate and past goalie Jussi Markkanen to put the Canes up 1-0 with 6:21 gone in the first period.
Had you told me 25 years ago that the Stanley Cup would take up residence on Tobacco Road before North Carolina or N.C. State could recover possession of another ACC football championship trophy, I would have advised you that sniffing Zamboni fumes can be risky for your health.
After Wednesday’s 5-0 wing-dinger of a win over Edmonton in Game 2 of the NHL championship series, the Carolina Hurricanes are within sniffing distance of an accomplishment that once seemed so unlikely that it was rarely mentioned as a possibility.
The Edmonton Oilers had a problem in the goal crease at the RBC Center last night, but it had little to do with the absence of Dwayne Roloson or the presence of Jussi Markkanen.
It had a lot more to do with rookie goaltender Cam Ward, who, for the second straight game in this Stanley Cup final, turned in a sensational performance, this time with 25 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes blew away the Oilers 5-0 to take a 2-0 series lead.
There’s a new No. 1.
Craig MacTavish didn’t just name Jussi Markkanen as his starter at the RBC Center last night, the Edmonton Oilers coach called his shot for the rest of the Stanley Cup final against the Carolina Hurricanes.
MacTavish said yesterday before Markkanen led the Oilers out of the tunnel last night that the stopper who got the tap for Game 2 against the Canes would be his No. 1 man the rest of the way. Win or lose.
We’ll see about that!