Well what do you know the Carolina Hurricanes have won back to back games for the first game since beating the Lightning and Panthers in early October. The Hurricanes came out and played a much better first period against the Lightning than the Maple Leafs. The Hurricanes had a seven to four scoring chance lead at the end of the first period. However, during a Kostopolous penalty Martin St. Louis put one past Legace to make it 1-0 after the first period. The Hurricanes came out firing in the second period and quiet possibly played their best middle period of the year. The Hurricanes tied the game on a power play goal by Tuomo Ruutu on a great pass from Ray Whitney. With 6:14 left in the second period Jussi Jokinen deflected what would be the game winner past Mike Smith for a 2-1 lead. The Hurricanes would add and insurance goal with just under five minutes as Chad LaRose put his first of the season past Smith.
The Hurricanes seem to finally found two lines that are working well together. The top line of Whitney-Sutter-Cole has been leading the way while the Ruutu-Cullen-Jokinen line has also come together. A major factor in the Hurricanes recent success is how Ruutu has stepped into a leadership role since the Hurricanes losing streak. Ruutu was the first one to say enough is enough and that there are no excuses. Tuomo currently is tied for the team lead in scoring with 15 points and has been one of the main factors the Hurricanes have begun their turn around.
Now the Hurricanes head on a two game mini road trip that will take them to Dallas on Monday and Anaheim on Wednesday before returning home for a day after Thanksgiving match with the Atlanta Thrashers. If the Hurricanes can get at least three out of four points on the road and win against the surging Thrashers the Hurricanes could get back into the race for the playoffs.
Lightning vs. Hurricanes 11.21.2009