|OTT||1||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|CAR||1||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||2|
Tracking the Storm: Analysis
The Carolina Hurricanes finally pulled out an overtime victory after coming into tonight 0-6 in extra hockey. Tuomo Ruutu scored the game-winning goal on a deflection from in front off a Jay Harrison point shot, set up by Jussi Jokinen. It was a textbook example of what Ruutu had been doing the entire game – going to the dirty area in front of the net and creating chances. “We were really patient tonight, and we worked hard,” Ruutu said. “Guys really gave their best. We have to keep going and remember how hard we worked tonight.”
Ruutu had a number of opportunities parked in front of the net on the Hurricanes’ nearly two-minute-long 5-on-3 in the first period. Eric Staal fed the puck in front a good two or three times looking for a tap-in or deflection, but they couldn’t connect. Head coach Kirk Muller called his team’s timeout with 40 seconds remaining on the two-man advantage. An early time to burn the one timeout the team has, but he wasn’t liking what he saw; the team seemed timid and indecisive. “We just didn’t move the puck quick enough and the options of shooting were there,” he said. “So we refocus, give them a little rest and attack again. It didn’t connect, but we had a couple of good opportunities there.”
The Canes came out strong, as expected, pinning a tired Senators team in their own end. The Staal and Jokinen lines grinded out a couple of shifts, maintaining puck possession. A partial line change saw Riley Nash and Andreas Nodl filter into the offensive zone, and Nodl threw the puck to the front of the net. Initially, the goal was given to Nash for the tip-in, but further reviewed showed it ricocheted off an Ottawa defenseman. It was Nodl’s second goal in as many games, and with the primary assist, Nash earned his first NHL point. Nash had another solid game in the eight minutes he played tonight. Once again, the Hurricanes dominated in scoring chances. They outshot the Senators 38-23. Forty-five attempts were either blocked or missed the net. It was another one of those games that would have been deflating to lose given the pucks thrown at Craig Anderson. “It took a pretty nasty tip from Ruuty to beat him,” Harrison said. “We’ve been working really, really hard in our game, making steps. Getting a result tonight is nice and reinforcement in that.”
The Hurricanes will now have a well-deserved weekend off for the Christmas holiday. The win provides a nice little morale boost heading into short break, and hopefully that will translate on Monday when New Jersey comes to town. “It’s a relief and great to see that we can eat some turkey and feel a little better,” said Cam Ward, who made 22 saves in the win.
Recap (Associated Press)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Carolina Hurricanes haven't had much go their way, even after changing coaches about a month ago.
The Hurricanes, who are last in the Eastern Conference, hope Friday night's win can help turn their season around.
"Tonight is the most complete game we've played, and I think it can be a model for us going forward," Harrison said.
Cam Ward made 22 saves for Carolina, which outshot the Senators 38-23, including 29-14 through the first two periods. But the Hurricanes had a tough time getting the puck past Craig Anderson.
"We had so many chances off the rebound, but we couldn't bury them," said Ruutu, who was denied on several opportunities in regulation.
The Hurricanes had not won an overtime game this season, including December extra-time outings under coach Kirk Muller, who replaced the fired Paul Maurice during the last week of November.
"We've been in this situation before, and it hasn't gone our way," Ward said. "It was rewarding to see the guys score there in overtime."
Muller said the game underscored his message to the players to keep pushing and pay attention to detail. Ruutu in particular seems to have gotten the message.
"I'm really happy they stayed with it. They pushed hard," Muller said. "It was great that Roots got it. He earned it because of the way he's been playing."
Carolina dominated the early play but couldn't capitalize often against Anderson, who stopped 36 shots. The Hurricanes had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:52 just past the midway point of the first period, but Anderson saved all their chances.
Andreas Nodl scored for Carolina less than 3 minutes in off the skate of an Ottawa defenseman. Nodl's goal was his second of the season - both coming in the last two games.
Filip Kuba countered for the Senators with 2:45 left in the first, sending a bouncing shot through Ward's legs.
The teams remained scoreless until overtime, when Ruutu got his stick on Harrison's blast 1:36 into the extra period.
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said his team was sluggish after playing Thursday night at home, a 4-3 win over Florida.
"We didn't really generate a whole lot of offense consistently," MacLean said. "We played too much in our own end of the rink. . Overall, we're not happy with losing, but we can accept the point under the circumstances."
Before Ruutu's goal, the last time Carolina scored a 4-on-4 overtime goal to win was March 18 against the New York Islanders.
"We haven't been too successful in overtimes," Ruutu said. "Sometimes you gotta go 65 minutes, and that's what we did tonight. We have to keep going and remember how hard we worked tonight."
Ottawa fell to 5-5 this season in overtime games.
Notes: Tim Brent, Joni Pitkanen and Derek Joslin were scratches for Carolina. Ottawa's scratches were leading scorer Milan Michalek and defenseman Brian Lee. ... Ottawa won the previous two meetings this season, 3-2 in Raleigh in October and 4-3 in Ottawa in November. ... Carolina's Riley Nash, playing his second NHL game, recorded his first point with an assist on Nodl's goal. Nash was originally credited with the goal before replays showed otherwise.
|Zack Smith Hooking against Eric Staal|
|Erik Condra Hooking against Alexei Ponikarovsky|
|Jared Cowen Interference against Drayson Bowman|
|Jaroslav Spacek Tripping against Nick Foligno|
|SA: 38||TOI: 61:36|
|Saves: 36||EV: 31 - 33|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .947||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 23||TOI: 61:36|
|Saves: 22||EV: 20 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 2|
|SV%: .957||SH: 0 - 0|