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Cats fall to Hurricanes 2-1 (OT) in strong effort after lousy first period

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Divisional setbacks be damned, the Panthers begin their crawl upward.

Another night in Raleigh, another loss. But the point earned in the overtime period may make a phenomenal difference come February. Lots of power plays - for the home team - and an unusually low-scoring affair led to an action-packed and playoff-like third period.

And admittedly, the Cats started off SLOW. As if a number of they're forwards had been injured for a lengthy period. Bizarre.

However, they made a game of it, after spotting the typical we're-in-Carolina two- or three- power plays in the first frame.

Got to be honest here: In all of the Carolina organization's time in Hartford, I can't recall a single season - let alone game - when the officials predominantly sided with the Whale. Ever. Excuses, excuses, I know.

But it's hard to believe, having been an ardent follower of the club in Hartford, that some crazy KGB-style mandate isn't in effect regarding penalty calls against this bunch since the move to Greensboro/Raleigh. At least when they play Florida.

A doctoral student could break down each and every match between these two clubs and find it most difficult to discern a radical difference in the legalities of strategies utilitzed. Beyond the obvious penalty differentials. There's just something off-kilter.

Oh well. Carolina got their win (on power plays), and Florida got their point (without them).

Long story short: Carolina dominated the first, especially considering the three power plays (scoring on the last). Florida was a little boy lost; trying to figure out where they all fit in, now that the Big Boys were back in town.

The second was a bit more controlled, a bit more even. No real domination by either side.

Third period action picked up the pace, Florida got confident all of a sudden, and we had a game. Back and forth it went...until OT.

My prediction had the Cats prevailing in the extra period, siting an abundance of skill over ego. Alas, ego (read: experience) won out, and the Panthers fell to the Hurricanes 2-1. For the 15th loss of the last 16 in Raleigh. Brutal.

Bottom line: the effort finally arrived, along with the Panthers' "game" - whatever that may be at this stage - and allowed them to climb back in, while a putting a scare in the Hurricanes. They got the point; a point Carolina did not want to give away.

LITTER BOX LINERS

THE FAR REACHES OF THE BLOGOSPHERE

DIVISIONALLY SPEAKING


Southeast Standings

GP W L OTL PT
Washington 33 20 10 3 43
Carolina 32 15 12 5 35
Florida 31 14 13 4 32
Atlanta 31 10 17 4 24
Tampa Bay 31 7 15 9 23

(updated 12.19.2008 at 4:32 AM EST)


  • Washington defeated St. Louis, 4-2. Can the Caps be stopped?
  • Pittsburgh defeated Atlanta, 6-3. And Don Waddell remains.
  • Colorado defeated Tampa Bay 2-1 (SO). Bolts sign Avery yet?

There are no scheduled games among the Southeast teams this evening.

Special Thanks to CLG, DolPhanDave, and mjdivo for joining in the Open Thread!