|FLA||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|CAR||0||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
Joe Corvo is known for his vicious slap shot, not necessarily the series of skating moves that left the Florida Panthers and goalie Tomas Vokoun sprawled on the ice as his backhander sailed high into the net late in overtime for a 2-1 Carolina victory.
It was the second straight game-winning goal for Corvo as the Canes won two in a row for the first time in a month, while captain Rod Brind’Amour notched the 700th assist on his career on the highlight-reel play to end the Thursday night game.
“You can’t plan stuff like that,” Corvo laughed when asked about his fantastic moves that left all his teammates and the RBC Center fans shaking their heads on Eric Staal Bobblehead Night with 43.3 seconds left in OT. “I would have thought there would have been a goalie in there. I don’t know where he went.”
“I think everybody thought he was going to shoot it, then he faked, then I thought he was going to fall down and I thought their guy was going to go the other way,” added Brind’Amour. “I was in front saying, ‘Come on, put it at the net,’ then he just walked around the defenseman and made a great move on the goalie. That’s great, that was good hockey right there.”
“I think Joe faked the shot five or six times and the goalie was laying in the corner,” joked Staal.
The Canes, who outshot the Panthers 37-20, are now 3-1-3 in seven games under new coach Paul Maurice, picking up points in their last six to inch back into the Eastern Conference playoff race.
“The bottom line is we’re skating and we’ve been on the puck and we’re creating offense,” Staal said.
“Since Mo has gotten here we’re making plays in our own end,” added Brind’Amour, now one of just 33 players in NHL history with at least 400 goals and 700 assists. “We’re not just firing the puck around so much; we’re not just throwing it away. Puck possession is key and our D is playing way better, making better break-out passes. We’re playing our best hockey so far this year, for sure.”
Each team hit the post once in the second period but the score remained 1-0 heading into the third as the Canes held a 28-13 advantage on shots. Cam Ward kept his club on top with two clutch saves on David Booth – one on Florida’s only power play through two periods and the other on a breakout.
The highlight of the second was a fight between Tim Gleason and Gregory Campbell after the Florida center slammed Ryan Bayda into the boards in front of the Carolina bench. Gleason got his money’s worth, twice throwing Campbell to the ice while firing right hands to his face.
Justin Williams, who hadn’t scored in almost 13 months because of knee and Achilles tendon surgeries, notched his first goal when he waited out Vokoun at the side of the net, then slipped the puck to the far side of the Florida goalie as he was going down.
That power play was one of three the Canes were awarded in the first period after getting 11 man-advantage opportunities in a 3-2 victory over Montreal on Tuesday night.
“I did do a double-take to make sure it was in the net,” said Williams, twice a 30-goal scorer before his two serious injuries. “I would think that if it wasn’t tonight it would have been the next night. I wasn’t putting any pressure on myself and the coaches weren’t.
“I know it’s not going to be the quickest turnaround to get back to where I was but I’m working my way there and working hard and soon I’ll be the same guy before I got injured. On the other hand, it was a big win tonight.”
While Williams scored Carolina’s first goal, he also coughed up the puck at the end of a power play to start the third period on a risky pass play, leading to Cory Stillman’s game-tying goal 2:29 into the period.
It appeared the Ward stopped the shot earmarked for between his legs, but the Carolina goalie slid into the net with the puck.
“That’s still his bread-and-butter move that I can remember he did a lot of times wearing the Hurricanes’ jersey,” Ward his of Stillman, his former teammate on the 2006 Stanley Cup team. “I even knew it and he still got it by me.”
NOTES: Frank Kaberle returned to the lineup after missing 24 of the last 27 games with leg injuries. … After going a season-worst five games without a point, Whitney now has points in six of his last seven games. … Brind’Amour extended his point streak to five straight, while Staal saw his end at four in a row. … Brandon Sutter got into the first fight of his career early in the third, tangling with Noah Welch. … Dennis Seidenberg played a season-high 32:20.
|PPG - Justin Williams (1) ASST: Ray Whitney (14), Joe Corvo (8)|
1 - 0 CAR
|Cory Stillman (6) ASST: Kamil Kreps (5), Ville Peltonen (9)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Joe Corvo (5) ASST: Ray Whitney (15), Rod Brind'Amour (13)|
2 - 1 CAR
|David Booth Holding against Joe Corvo|
|Bryan McCabe Holding against Matt Cullen|
|Jay Bouwmeester Hooking against Tuomo Ruutu|
|Gregory Campbell Fighting (maj) against Tim Gleason|
|Tim Gleason Fighting (maj) against Gregory Campbell|
|Scott Walker Delay of game|
|Cory Stillman Holding against Dennis Seidenberg|
|Noah Welch Fighting (maj) against Brandon Sutter|
|Brandon Sutter Fighting (maj) against Noah Welch|
|SA: 37||TOI: 64:16|
|Saves: 35||EV: 32 - 33|
|PIM: 0||PP: 3 - 4|
|SV%: .946||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 20||TOI: 64:16|
|Saves: 19||EV: 17 - 18|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .950||SH: 1 - 1|