Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Capitals vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

All It Took Was One

Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 2:45 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
X
Share with your Friends


All It Took Was One
After coming into the third period down 3-0 to Montreal, the Canes scored four third-period goals to force overtime and ultimately win the game, 5-4.
All it took was one.

Michael Smith
Follow on Twitter

And from there, the Carolina Hurricanes just kept rolling.

After coming into the third period down 3-0 to Montreal, the Canes scored four third-period goals to force overtime and ultimately win the game, 5-4.

“The first goal was the one that was so huge,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “It didn’t matter what kind of goal it was going to be. It just showed that we weren’t going to go through the motions in the third period.”

The goal was scored on the power play after the team had seen seven other chances drift by, including an extended five-on-three advantage in the second period. Jeff Skinner was the goal scorer, his first of two power-play tallies in the game.

Andrej Sekera sent a point shot toward the net. Carey Price spit out the rebound, and Skinner corralled it. He attempted a wrap-around, but was denied by a sliding Brandon Prust. Skinner then regathered the puck, spun around in the slot and roofed one off the cross-bar and in.

“The power play got us going, not only the goal but the momentum,” Manny Malhotra said. “We had to stay to the game plan. We’ve proved that plan has worked for us.”

Thirty-seven seconds later, Skinner netted another power-play goal, his 12th goal in the month of December alone and 16th of the season.

Then it was Eric Staal in the right place at the right time to bang home a loose puck.

Then it was Zach Boychuk threading the needle with a tape-to-tape pass to Malhotra in the slot, and he finished.

All it took was one, and from there, the Hurricanes just kept rolling.

“Everything fell into place, we got some breaks and we got some goals at the right time,” Muller said. “We just went for it in the third.”

“I think that separates a lot of teams – that ability to stay the course,” Malhotra said. “There was a decision to be made. It was either jettison the whole thing and see what happens playing an individual game or believe in each other, believe that guys are going to do their job and it will pay off. We stuck with that mentality.”

The Canes then fought through Montreal tying the game 4-4 to win just their third game in overtime this season. It came off the stick of Alexander Semin who, before Dec. 23, hadn’t scored in 14 games since Oct. 24. It was a quick turnaround wrist shot that found a hole in Carey Price, who appeared impenetrable through the first 40 minutes.

“A lot of the game is mental toughness,” Skinner said. “We had been getting some chances, but we couldn’t seem to get a goal. We still had 20 minutes to play, and we have enough veteran guys in the locker room to know we had to stick with the plan.”

When the puck crossed the goal line, the crowd erupted and the goal horn blared, Semin raised his arms and looked upward, a display of simultaneous relief and exultation.

“I think that was just such an emotional game last night,” Muller said. “You could just see it in their body language afterward.”

As much was clear in the locker room after the game: this is the kind of comeback, the kind of team-effort victory that can change the tide of a season.

Of course, whether or not that will be the case remains to be seen, but it starts with the team’s upcoming two-game road trip that will take them through Washington and Long Island.

“Last night’s win doesn’t mean anything if we don’t follow it up,” Skinner said. “You can’t dwell on it, just like we wouldn’t dwell on it if it had gone the other way and we lost. We’d bounce back and try to win the next game. That’s the mindset going into tomorrow.”

“They woke up today and came back to practice with a lot of energy,” Muller said. “That’s where we talk about momentum and how it carried already into today’s practice where you see the life and energy, and now we just have to take it on the road trip.”

Ward and Nash Injured, Khudobin Back in the Picture

The Canes announced on Wednesday that Cam Ward has a lower-body injury and will not make the two-game road trip. Anton Khudobin and Justin Peters will serve as the team’s two goaltenders, with Khudobin likely getting in at least one of the next two games. Muller would not commit to a starter for Thursday’s tilt in Washington.

Forward Riley Nash left Tuesday night’s game with a lower-body injury. He did not practice on Wednesday and will likely be on the shelf for a week. It’s expected that the Hurricanes will make a corresponding roster move to fill his absence.



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 59 11 27 -16 38
E. Staal 54 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 58 11 15 -16 26
J. Skinner 54 15 9 -16 24
R. Nash 56 7 14 -9 21
N. Gerbe 55 6 14 -13 20
A. Sekera 57 2 17 -7 19
V. Rask 57 8 10 -18 18
J. McClement 59 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 23 4 11 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 6 11 3 .901 2.73