Tracking the Storm: Analysis from New Jersey
-- Persistence paid off in a big way for the Carolina Hurricanes, who earned two points in a 2-1 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils. Ron Hainsey was credited with the tying goal in regulation, while Chris Terry scored the lone goal in the shootout. Anton Khudobin made 18 saves and finally earned his first victory of the season.
"We got a fortunate bounce off my leg to get one, and Khudobin was tremendous in the shootout," Hainsey said.
-- It took 51 minutes and 59 seconds, but the Hurricanes finally found the back of the net to break their scoring drought and even the contest at one. Andrej Sekera’s shot was redirected by Patrick Dwyer and then unintentionally bounced off of Ron Hainsey in the slot and in, the sort of bounce the Canes have been working to earn.
"We actually in the second period had five grade-A, ten-bell chances that Schneider made saves on," Hainsey said. "That's really the time when we could have put ourselves up two or three to one. We kept with it and kept putting pucks toward the net."
"Each period we built on it, especially in the third when we were really hunting down pucks," Terry said. "It's funny the way it went it. We had some grade-A chances, and then we get one off two shin pads. We're not complaining. We'll take them any way they come right now."
"It's just the way it is," head coach Bill Peters said. "It's a challenge to get to the net, but the guys stuck with it and got rewarded."
-- Anton Khudobin finally earned his first victory of the season, something that probably should have happened a couple months ago. He was sharp when called upon, especially when the Devils pushed back a bit in the third and in the shootout. His only blemish came on a goal off the stick of Stephen Gionta that deflected off Michal Jordan's twig.
The jubilant Russian wore the fireman's helmet after the game.
"It seemed like the hockey gods didn't want to give me or us a win. Everything was against us," he said. "I'm happy today that it finally happened. I thought it never was going to happen this year."
"It was good for Anton. He's been very good for us, and it's good for him to get off the schneid and get a win," Peters said. "He should have had one earlier, but it's just the way it has worked out. The guys played hard in front of him tonight."
"Obviously that's a big deal for everyone. He's played some good games, and he played tremendous in New York," Hainsey said. "We just haven't been able to get that win for him. He came up with a great performance in the shootout."
Goaltending coach David Marcoux has helped keep Khudobin sharp mentally, even when the results haven't been there.
"A lot of things go through your mind, but you just have to throw them away. You have to sleep and wake up the next morning with a positive attitude and keep moving forward. Life doesn't end after a loss. I know, for me, it's been tough for almost three months," Khudobin said. "I focus on what I can control, which is practices, my attitude, my head and my brain. Thanks to my parents -- they also stay positive and find the right words to help me. And my friends, too."
-- As the third shooter for the Canes, Chris Terry netted the lone shootout goal, as he outwaited Schneider and slid the puck past him.
"Never," he said when asked if he ever had used that move. "I figured goalies watch videos too, so I needed to switch it up. I never even practiced that one. I just went with it."
-- The Hurricanes allowed just 19 shots on a goal. Their season low was 16 set against, yes, the same New Jersey Devils just two weeks ago in a 2-1 loss at PNC Arena.
Meanwhile, the Canes peppered Cory Schneider with 33 shots, finally breaking the seal midway through the third period.
"If you're playing well, you just have to stay with it, and if you're playing poorly in a game, you have to dig in," Peters said. "I thought the guys had a little more grit and bite around the net in the third. You've got to be at the net and throw pucks at the net."
-- Brendan Woods became the fifth Hurricane to make his NHL debut this season, and he did so against the team that drafted his father, Bob, in 1988. The 22-year-old was physical, wasn’t afraid to go to the net and had a brilliant look for his first NHL goal that was picked off by the glove of Schneider.
-- Tim Gleason squared off with Jordin Tootoo at the 11:22 mark of the second period in a heavy tilt. He landed some good shots, but so did Tootoo, who ended up on top of Gleason on the ice. The Canes defenseman did not return to the game after the fight.
Though Peters did not have an update on Gleason after the game, he quipped, "Eggnog can fix everything."
-- The NHL will now break for Christmas from Dec. 24-26. The Hurricanes will be back in action on Dec. 27, as they travel to Tampa Bay for the second time this month.