|EDM||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||7|
Leave it to the Edmonton Oilers to once again bring out the best in the Carolina Hurricanes.
Eric Staal had a hat trick in a five-goal third period outburst as the Canes beat Edmonton 7-2 in the Oilers’ first game in the RBC Center since losing Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup finals.
It was a far cry from the emotional series of two seasons ago with both teams struggling near .500, but the Canes had to be pleased with their effort after hitting rock bottom against Ottawa on Thursday night, falling from first place in the Southeast Division.
“It’s nice for guys to be able to take a breath and not have to sweat one out,” said Rod Brind’Amour, who had a three-point night with a goal and two assists. “The win is not a great big deal, but it’s a start.
“It was one of those games where we were on and they were off, and you see what happens in this league when that combination happens,” Brind’Amour added. “It was a pretty dominant game.”
The victory over the Oilers, coupled with Atlanta’s loss to Buffalo, gave the Hurricanes a taste of first place again – a spot they don’t want to surrender anytime soon.
Brind’Amour said seeing the Oilers’ logo stirred some emotional juices before the game.
“In the warm-ups and crowd was into it more than usual,” the captain said.
With Carolina clinging to a 2-1 lead, Staal scored 4:13 into the third to give the Canes some much needed breathing room after dominating much of the game. Carolina’s All-Star center stole the puck in the Edmonton zone, attempted a shot that was blocked, regained control and stuffed it past Mathieu Garon with some stellar second effort.
Staal’s goal gave the Canes confidence to finish one off at home for a change to snap a season-long four-game losing streak and score their most goals since beating the New York Islanders 8-3 on Oct. 27.
“I thought it was a real strong game for us from the drop of the puck,” said coach Peter Laviolette. “It seemed like we were on our toes, competing first for pucks, first in battles, second efforts, back-checking. Our game had a real good pace to it tonight.”
Staal added his second of the third period on a penalty shot, while Sergei Samsonov and Chad LaRose added some icing to a much-needed victory. LaRose’s career-best seventh of the year chased Garon with 7:15 left.
Staal then added his fourth career hat trick with 19.6 seconds left, getting his team-leading 26th.
“We needed a win at home to rejuvenate everyone and get some fire in everyone’s belly,” said Staal. “We got the crowd going and everybody seemed to have a jump in their step and a smile on and that’s what you need to play this game.”
The Oilers tied it 1-1 early in the second as the Canes managed just one shot on goal in the opening 10 minutes of the period. Sam Gagner’s shot hit the post and bounced off the back of Cam Ward before being poked home by Patrick Thoresen.
The Canes offense caught fire in the final five minutes as Erik Cole hit the post, and 48 seconds later Tim Gleason scored his first of the season after some nice work by Rod Brind’Amour. The goal was the first in 55 games for Gleason.
Cole hit the post again with 41 seconds left in the period.
Ward made a great pad save on a wide open Steve Staios with two seconds remaining and the Canes on the power play to keep his club up 2-1 heading into the third.
Brind’Amour, with just three goals in his last 22 games, got the Canes off to a good start when his 30-footer beat Garon on the short side 6:08 into the game in a period in which Carolina dominated, outshooting the Oilers 14-5.
“We’ve talked about it, we’ve had enough meetings to last a lifetime,” Brind’Amour said about the team’s six-week slump. “We all know what’s a stake and that basically our playoffs have started and we’ve got approach every game like that.”
“It’s bringing the passion, bringing the fire, bringing and energy every night,” added Staal. “It was there this game and it needs to be there the next game. We need to string together a bunch of wins to be a consistent top team.”
NOTES: Carolina scored first for just the 19th time in 50 games. … Dennis Seidenberg was scratched with an ankle injury. … Samsonov has six points in his last four games. … Staal and Gleason are the only Canes to have played in all 50 games. … Brind’Amour’s goal was the 425th of his career. … Gleason scored just his fifth goal in 232 career games. … The Canes were 1-5 against the Western Conference prior to Friday, losing five in a row. … Gleason was a plus five, while Bret Hedican was a plus 4.
|Rod Brind'Amour (17) ASST: Sergei Samsonov (8), Erik Cole (20)|
1 - 0 CAR
|Patrick Thoresen (2) ASST: Sam Gagner (14), Andrew Cogliano (13)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Tim Gleason (1) ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (25), Andrew Ladd (3)|
2 - 1 CAR
|Eric Staal (24) ASST: Chad LaRose (8), Tim Gleason (9)|
3 - 1 CAR
|PPG - PS - Eric Staal (25) ASST: NONE|
4 - 1 CAR
|Sergei Samsonov (2) ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (26), Erik Cole (21)|
5 - 1 CAR
|Chad LaRose (7) ASST: Matt Cullen (30), Wade Brookbank (1)|
6 - 1 CAR
|Andrew Cogliano (8) ASST: Sam Gagner (15), Robert Nilsson (15)|
6 - 2 CAR
|Eric Staal (26) ASST: Chad LaRose (9), Bret Hedican (8)|
7 - 2 CAR
|Mike Commodore Hooking against Shawn Horcoff|
|Ales Hemsky Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Frantisek Kaberle Hooking against Ales Hemsky|
|Bret Hedican Hi-sticking against Dustin Penner|
|Jarret Stoll Holding against Cory Stillman|
|Patrick Thoresen Holding against Eric Staal|
|Sam Gagner Interference against Scott Walker|
|Ray Whitney Tripping against Andrew Cogliano|
|SA: 33||TOI: 52:45|
|Saves: 27||EV: 23 - 28|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 5|
|SV%: .818||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 3||TOI: 7:15|
|Saves: 2||EV: 2 - 3|
|PIM: 0||PP: 0 - 0|
|SV%: .667||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 18||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 16||EV: 13 - 15|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .889||SH: 2 - 2|