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|CAR||0||0||2||(0 - 0)||2|
Some guys tense up playing against their former team. Not Joe Corvo.
Traded to the Carolina Hurricanes last February by Ottawa, Corvo seems to give extra effort every time he plays against his former club, and Friday night was no exception as the defenseman scored the game winner with 2:40 left for a 2-1 victory.
The win was also a bit special for coach Peter Laviolette, who got his 240th victory to move into first place all-time among U.S.-born coaches.
“When things like that happen you are in the game long enough and you get hooked up with good organizations and I’ve been with two,” said Laviolette, who began his NHL coaching career with the New York Islanders and won a Stanley Cup with the Canes in 2006. “And you get to work with a lot of great players and some terrific coaches and a good wife who lets me do it.”
The one-goal win came on the heels of a disappointing 3-2 late collapse at Washington in which the Canes allowed two goals over the final two minutes. This time around, trailing 1-0, Carolina scored twice in the final 8:54 to drop the Senators to 2-6 this season in one-goal games.
Dennis Seidenberg, one of the more pleasant surprises this season, started the scoring on the power play before the Senators turned the puck over six minutes later as Corvo pinched in from his defensive position to blast one past former Carolina goalie Martin Gerber.
Ottawa pulled Gerber late, but Rod Brind’Amour, playing with a broken nose, dove to the ice twice to make blocks to help preserve the victory as Carolina moved to 8-4-2 after 14 games.
“There was never a question about whether he was going to be in the lineup tonight,” Laviolette said of his tough-as-nails captain. “It never even was brought up and his nose is really smashed, it’s broke, and he was out there.”
Last season, Corvo notched his only career hat trick against the Senators, and he finished with a game-high seven shots Friday night.
“There is a little something special involved with that,” Corvo said. “It’s crazy that things like this keep happening.”
“I couldn’t be happier, to be honest with you,” Laviolette added about Corvo’s goal against his former team, which drew a round of laughter from the media. “He’s a guy where the change did him well. I’m glad a couple of his best games here have been against Ottawa. That’s always good when that happens.”
Meanwhile in net, Michael Leighton improved to 4-1 as the backup goalie, stopping 22 of 23 shots. He only faced 11 shots over the final two periods as the Canes’ defense clamped down after allowing two late goals to the Caps on Thursday night.
“I’ve been told by a lot of people that if the backup goalie wins 50 percent of your games you’ve got to be happy with that,” Leighton said. “It’s usually just to give your starter a rest and if you win it’s a bonus. Right now Cam is playing well, too. I’m sure he looks at me and says, ‘Hey, he’s playing well so I’ve got to play well’ and vice-versa, I want to push him to be a better goalie.”
Daniel Alfredsson missed a wide open net midway through the second period to keep the game scoreless, but the Ottawa captain figured in on the game’s first goal as he broke down the right wing on a two-on-one with Mike Fisher. Leighton kicked out the shot by Alfredsson, but Fisher cleaned up the rebound as the Senators took a 1-0 lead with 1:52 left in a period in which the Canes had the better scoring opportunities.
Leighton had to be sharp from the outset as Carolina was outshot 8-0 in the early going and was forced to kill three minor penalties in a scoreless first period. The goalie’s best save came against the red-hot Heatley, who couldn’t convert from the slot during an Ottawa flurry as Leighton got his glove on the shot targeted for the upper corner.
Carolina didn’t get its first shot on Gerber until there was 10:45 left in the period and uncharacteristically Brind’Amour lost eight of 11 faceoffs as Ottawa controlled the play for the most part.
NOTES: Matt Cullen missed his fourth game (leg) while Patrick Eaves sat out again with an illness. Laviolette said he wasn’t sure if Eaves was sick again or didn’t feel well after taking a hit against Washington. … Dennis Seidenberg blocked four more shots to push his team-leading total to 42. … Carolina’s defensive corps has a combined 37 points. … Tuomo Ruutu saw his five-game point streak and three-game goal streak end. … Carolina came into the game 6-15-2 against Ottawa over the last 23 games. … Eric Staal has just three points in his last seven games. … The Canes were 8-3-3 after 14 games last season for 19 points.
|Mike Fisher (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Daniel Alfredsson (11), Christoph Schubert (2)|
1 - 0 OTT
|PPG - Dennis Seidenberg (2) Slapshot - ASST: Ray Whitney (9), Joe Corvo (4)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Joe Corvo (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (5), Tim Gleason (6)|
2 - 1 CAR
|Eric Staal Tripping against Mike Fisher|
|Anton Volchenkov Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Josef Melichar Tripping against Chris Neil|
|Dwight Helminen Too many men/ice - bench|
|Antoine Vermette Holding against Joe Corvo|
|Christoph Schubert Tripping against Ryan Bayda|
|Niclas Wallin Roughing against Dany Heatley|
|Filip Kuba Hooking against Chad LaRose|
|Chris Phillips Interference against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Rod Brind'Amour Tripping against Jesse Winchester|
|Dany Heatley Hi-sticking against Tim Gleason|
|Dany Heatley Roughing against Tim Gleason|
|Tim Gleason Roughing against Dany Heatley|