June 19, 2006
No 'Cane do?Pronger says Carolina was crushed after Game 5
By ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The winds of change began howling for the Carolina Hurricanes with the drop of the puck for overtime in Game 5, and it's been all they can do to prevent being blown away since then.
Up 3-1 in their Stanley Cup final with the Edmonton Oilers and tied 3-3 through regulation time in Game 5 at the RBC Center, the Hurricanes have been outshot 41-16 and outscored 5-0.
The last 63:31 of a Stanley Cup final that's going seven games between two evenly matched teams hasn't been close. It certainly wasn't Saturday in the Oilers' 4-0 win in Game 6 at Rexall Place.
"Momentum-wise, I think that overtime was pretty crushing to them," Chris Pronger said of Fernando Pisani's OT winner to send the series back to Edmonton with Carolina's lead cut to 3-2.
"They'd been so good on the power play and we score short-handed in overtime, I think they thought they were going to sew it up right there."
Facing elimination in Game 5, the Oilers had outshot Carolina 7-0 in overtime when Pisani grabbed a pass by Cory Stillman on a Carolina power play and pumped a puck top shelf past Cam Ward at 3:31.
"Game 5 was tough to swallow," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said yesterday.
"It was overtime and we were set up to win it on our power play and it didn't happen. It was a tough one to get over. Maybe the toughest that we've been through. Then Game 6, it was just terrible."
The Hurricanes have been skating uphill since Pisani's goal and haven't found a way to get off their heels.
"I think you maybe saw that in Game 6 that they wanted it more," said Ward.
"Everybody is talking about the desperation the Oilers are showing. We need the same. That's exactly what it might come down to - whoever wants it more.
"Give them credit. They've made strides in their game and you can see they're playing extremely well.
"You can see the desperation from their team. For whatever reason, we didn't bring that in Game 6."
With Rexall Place in a frenzy and the Oilers banging bodies and pumping pucks at Ward from the opening faceoff Saturday, Game 6 was, simply, a mismatch most of the way.
At the midway mark of the second period, with the rink a madhouse and the Oilers up 2-0 on goals by Pisani and Raffi Torres, the shots were 20-3 in Edmonton's favour for a cumulative total of 27-3 going back to the start of overtime here.
"Now, we're back here again and we've got to come out with the same style of game and play that same hard-nosed, physical, aggressive style," said Pronger.