The Canes fought back tonight to steal a point. In the third period, the team didn’t register a shot on goal until the 10:58 mark. After that, they generated another two quick shots and eventually poured it on late to tie the game. Jeff Skinner, who scored the game-tying goal on the power play, didn’t mince words after the shootout loss. “The last five minutes we picked it up, but you can’t really play a game for five minutes at the end,” he said.
Defenseman Jamie McBain, whose shot was re-directed by Skinner for the game-tying goal, looked at the finish in a positive light. While admitting to a slow second, he liked how the team came on late in the third. “Down 2-0 like that, especially with the amount of time left on the clock, and we were able to battle back,” he said. “Just shows the character that we have in the room to never stop believing. One point is better than none.”
Carolina had a strong first period, outshooting the slow-starting Senators 15-5. Not scoring came back to haunt them in the second period when Ottawa netted two goals from Zenon Konopka and Jason Spezza. “We were really struggling to generate anything after the first period, especially through the neutral zone,” head coach Paul Maurice said. “We dumped pucks that we didn’t need to dump and we were late on forechecks.”
Maurice said the team’s biggest failure in the game was moving the puck from the top of their circles through the neutral zone. With practice slated for noon tomorrow, this will probably be a focus.
Just called up today from Charlotte, Zach Boychuk made the most of his 6:39 ice time. He played an inspired game, especially in the first period. “I liked him,” Maurice said. “Especially in the first he had real good energy and showed what he could do.”
The Canes stayed out of the box this game, but the only penalty – a hooking minor to Jay Harrison – resulted in the Spezza goal. The Canes’ power play looked good in the first period but failed to score. Their first crack at the man-advantage in the third period was lacking, but they made up for it late with the quick Skinner goal.
Spezza and Zenon Konopka had the Senators' goals in regulation.
The win, Ottawa's third straight, stopped the Senators' seven-game losing streak in Raleigh. Cam Ward had 26 saves for the Hurricanes, while Craig Anderson made 32 stops for Ottawa.
Spezza has five goals and 12 points on the season. Skinner has four goals and 10 points.
The Hurricanes outshot the Senators 15-5 and had two power-play opportunities in a scoreless first period before the visitors took the momentum until the final 5 minutes.
Ottawa took the lead at 6:30 of the second, as Konopka beat Ward from the left circle on a rush with assists to Gonchar and Jesse Winchester. It was Konopka's first goal and Winchester's first point of the season.
Spezza doubled the lead on the power play at 18:36 of the second on a tip-in with Colin Greening and Gonchar on the helpers.
Ruutu got Carolina on the board at 15:08 of the third, when he intercepted Gonchar's clearing attempt in the low slot and slipped the puck past Anderson for his third goal of the season. Jay Harrison had the sole assist.
And the Hurricanes tied it on a power play at 17:29, as Skinner deflected Jamie McBain's shot from the high slot down and past Anderson with Eric Staal on the second assist.
Notes: Ottawa RW and captain Daniel Alfredsson was scratched with an injured right hip flexor and is day-to-day. Carolina RW Anthony Stewart was out with a lower body injury. Carolina LW Zach Boychuk was recalled for the first time this season from Charlotte (AHL), while C Zac Dalpe was placed on Injured Reserve (lower body) retroactive to Oct. 14 . Carolina, in black jerseys for the second time this season, began a stretch in which seven of 10 games are at home.