|NJD||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|CAR||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
Fresh faces, new results against the Eastern Conference leading New Jersey Devils.
After being outscored 15-3 in three loses to the Devils since Jan. 10, the red-hot Carolina Hurricanes turned the tables Tuesday night, beating one of the NHL’s best teams 2-1 in overtime as Sergei Samsonov scored two goals, including the game-winner 1:36 into the extra period to break New Jersey’s five-game winning streak.
The Canes improved to 7-0-1 in their last eight home games and moved five games over .500 for the first time since Dec. 8 with 71 points, now just eight behind New Jersey.
“I’m not trying too do much different,” said Samsonov, who notched his second game winner with the Canes. “I’ve got a pretty good opportunity here and maybe I’ve got a little more confidence. I feel like I’m out there in important situations and have the trust of the coaching staff.”
Tuomo Ruutu, traded earlier in the day for Andrew Ladd, made it to the RBC Center from Chicago at 6:48 p.m., but was in the lineup and made the stat sheet early on with a blocked shot on his initial shift and then a holding penalty midway through the first.
“Sometimes it’s good to get here where you don’t even get a chance to say hi or shake hands with the guys, you’ve got to get your equipment on because you’ve already missed warm-ups,” coach Peter Laviolette said of Ruutu, who played 15:31 and was still getting 40 stitches to his face 30 minutes after the win. “For him to travel all day and sit on the runway and to walk into a game where you barely catch the national anthem and to play like he did I think it speaks volumes for him. He’s excited to be here and we’re excited to have him.”
Ruutu assisted on the first Carolina goal and then left late in the third after being poked in the face by the stick of Patrik Elias, leaving a trail of blood to the bench and the Canes screaming mad after no penalty was called.
Still, the Canes, who were swarming all over Martin Brodeur for the better part of 40 minutes, wouldn’t be denied as the game moved into overtime tied 1-1.
Samsonov broke down the right side and used his speed to beat a New Jersey defenseman, getting a good shot on Brodeur, who gave up the rebound to the Russian for a second chance. Samsonov, whose was given a second chance by Jim Rutherford after being acquired off waivers Jan. 8, made his second opportunity on one of the game’s great goalies count, notching his ninth goal in 22 games with Carolina.
“It’s awesome. I love it. I’m so proud of a guy like that,” Bret Hedican said of Samsonov, who had no goals in 23 games with Chicago this season before coming to the Canes. “Probably at some point in the season he was wondering what the heck was going on. He found himself out of the lineup and practically in the minors.
“We’ve accepted him with open arms and he’s done nothing but help our team. You almost wonder what we would be like without him right now. It’s a great feeling to see a guy like that come to life.”
“Leave hockey out of it, he’s a real nice guy,” added Laviolette. “It’s a second opportunity for him to come in to a situation to where he gets some time and confidence and his ability really has shined. It shined tonight.”
Cam Ward played a great first period, but caught a bad break 1:50 into the second when Brian Gionta’s centering pass went off the stick of Hedican and past the Carolina goalie for a 1-0 New Jersey lead.
The Canes dominated the second period, though, and tied it up at the end of a high-sticking penalty against the Devils. Samsonov poked home a rebound off a shot from Keith Aucoin, who came into the game with two goals in three games against New Jersey.
Aucoin had a chance to give Carolina a lead later in the second on a break out, but Brodeur robbed the Canes’ right wing with a sweeping glove save to keep the score tied heading into the third.
Carolina’s long laundry list of injuries continued early in the first period when Tim Gleason was slammed face-first into the corner boards glass by 6-foot-5, 230-pound center Mike Rupp. Gleason was helped off the ice and did not return with a head injury.
Hedican came to the defense of Gleason and took a swipe at Rupp, who later in the first tangled with Wade Brookbank in a game that was intense from the start.
No goals were scored in the first with the best save coming from Ward’s glove against Elias, who shook his head as he skated by the Carolina goalie, thinking he had the right corner of the net ticketed for a goal.
NOTES: Glen Wesley was back after missing two periods the other night against Washington. … The Canes were 0-for-11 on the power play against the Devils in four games this season. … Jeff Hamilton was sent to the minors before the game. … Carolina registered 36 shots to fall four shy of four straight 40-shot games. … The seven wins (7-4-1) this month matches the most in any month this season. The club also won seven in October and November.
|Brian Gionta (17) ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 NJD
|Sergei Samsonov (8) ASST: Keith Aucoin (5), Tuomo Ruutu (16)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Sergei Samsonov (9) ASST: Scott Walker (14), Bret Hedican (12)|
2 - 1 CAR
|Scott Walker Interference against Martin Brodeur|
|Bret Hedican Roughing against Mike Rupp|
|Mike Rupp Boarding against Bret Hedican|
|Tuomo Ruutu Holding against Johnny Oduya|
|Wade Brookbank Fighting against Mike Rupp|
|Mike Rupp Fighting against Wade Brookbank|
|Eric Staal Slashing against Martin Brodeur|
|Sheldon Brookbank Roughing against Eric Staal|
|Jay Pandolfo Tripping against Erik Cole|
|Mike Mottau Hi-sticking against Tuomo Ruutu|
|David Clarkson Fighting against Wade Brookbank|
|Wade Brookbank Fighting against David Clarkson|
|Sheldon Brookbank Hooking against Keith Aucoin|
|SA: 36||TOI: 61:29|
|Saves: 34||EV: 29 - 31|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .944||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 24||TOI: 61:36|
|Saves: 23||EV: 20 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 2|
|SV%: .958||SH: 1 - 1|