The Hurricanes looked as though they were heading for a blowout defeat at the hands of the Canucks before turning up the heat in the third period and potting six goals in the frame, including four in less than five minutes.
Of the 440 games this season, only 22 times has the team leading after two periods gone on to lose the contest. So when the Vancouver Canucks marched into the final frame of Tuesday’s tilt with the Carolina Hurricanes leading by three goals, the outcome seemed all but certain.
That was before the hockey world was reminded just how much the Canucks have been struggling this season.
In what was an almost unthinkable scenario, the wheels completely came off for Vancouver Tuesday, as they surrendered not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, but six goals — six goals! — in the third frame to allow the game to slip out of their grasps. In fact, were it not for a goal by Canucks center Brandon Sutter, we might be talking about a shocking come-from-behind blowout victory, though some might contend the Hurricanes’ 8-6 victory can be considered exactly that.
The Hurricanes’ goal-scoring barrage started little more than a minute into the third frame with a power play goal off the stick of Jeff Skinner. Over the course of the next 4:40, Carolina went from suffering a potentially embarrassing home-ice loss to taking an unexpected lead that had the PNC Arena as loud as it has been all season. Buckle up:
It was the three goals in succession — first by Ron Hainsey, then by Victor Rask and the final by Justin Faulk — over the course of a roughly two-minute span that really did the Canucks in. It’d be hard for even the world’s best teams to get their juices flowing again after surrendering a three-goal, third-period lead in such a fashion. It seemed as though there was little hope for Vancouver to turn the ship around once Jordan Staal scored to put Carolina up by two.
Following the game, Canucks captain Henrik Sedin called the loss “unacceptable,” and you can’t really argue with his succinct assessment of a loss in which Vancouver surrendered six goals in the third.
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