The Carolina Hurricanes (3-3-3) came off of the annual state fair road trip to face the Ottawa Senators at the RBC Center on Hockey Fights Cancer night. The Hurricanes blitz the Senators in the first period, doing almost everything right in the first 20 minutes with the exception of scoring. Craig Anderson stopped all 15 shots that the Canes were able to throw on him during the frame, including 3 shots on 2 power plays. The fourth line had some good energy and pressure, with Zach Boychuk, who was recalled from the Charlotte Checkers earlier in the day, having solid play with a takeaway and a shot on goal. The Hurricanes must have slipped into their Halloween costumes in the second period, because the team was barely recognizable in the next 20 minutes. Ottawa controlled the play for most of the period, registering 13 shots compared to the Hurricanes’ 7 shots. Zenon Konopka made the best of his 9:11 of playing time, scoring Ottawa’s first goal at the 6:30 mark of the second period, helped by a couple of defensive lapses by the Hurricanes. The Senators’ lethal power play came to fruition during the latter part of the period when Jay Harrison took a hooking call at 17:47 and Jason Spezza scored about a minute afterwards. The teams went into intermission with the Sens leading 2-0.
Caniacs saw much of the same out of their team in the third period until about 5 minute mark where the Senators misplayed a long pass off of the end boards by Jay Harrison that took a friendly bounce off of the boards in front of Craig Anderson and Tuomo Ruutu snuck behind the defense, went to his backhand and netted his 3rd goal of the season. It was all Carolina after that and Jeff Skinner draws a holding call in front of the net at 17:23 by David Rundblund. It didn’t take long for the Canes to capitalize as Eric Staal won the offensive zone face off and Jamie McBain let a wrist shot go from in front of the blue line and Jeff Skinner gets a piece of it to sneak it past Anderson and tie the game at 2-2 at the 17:29 mark of the 3rd period. The final three minutes saw several good chances by both teams, but it ended up going to overtime – the third overtime period of the year for the Hurricanes.
Carolina had an offensive fury in the overtime period, outshooting the Sens 6-1, including several supreme chances, but unfortunately were unable to net the game winner. Joni Pitkanen played for about 3:40 of the 5 minute overtime period and was able to quarterback the offensive zone extremely well. It was all Carolina in the final minute of overtime, with Pitkanen, Tim Gleason and Chad LaRose having great chances. Eric Staal got a pass up the side boards from Jussi Jokinen and had a beautiful pass to a pinching Jay Harrison, who tried to tip it in during the final seconds, but Anderson was there to make a beautiful save. This one ended up going to a shootout, where the Canes couldn’t sneak one past Anderson and Spezza got one 5-hole past Cam Ward, earning Ottawa the extra point.
The Hurricanes are back in action on Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Make sure to check back later in the week for game previews and a game recap, as well as my Feature Friday article on Tomas Kaberle.