After a disappointing game on Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils, Tuesday night’s game against the Ottawa Senators was supposed to be a rebound game for the Hurricanes. Behind Cam Ward’s stellar goaltending and goals from Brandon Sutter and Tuomo Ruutu, the Carolina Hurricanes did indeed bounce back with a 2-1 victory in Canada’s capital. Ward stopped 38 of 39 Senators shots and had a shutout bid up until 19:47 of the third period. It was a physical game overall, with the Senators outhitting 29-20, including several big (sometimes questionable) hits by winger Chris Neil. Neil ended up with 6 credited hits overall. Patrick Dwyer and Joni Pitkanen led the way for the Canes with 3 hits each.
The game started off choppy for the Canes, who took 3 penalties within the first 10 minutes of the first period. Ottawa was able to outshoot Carolina within the first period 13-10, mainly due to the 3 power plays they had within the frame. Cam Ward was able to make several key saves in the first period to keep the game scoreless heading into the first intermission. Carolina quickly got on the scoreboard in the second period as Brandon Sutter received a pass from Tim Gleason and wristed one from inside the left circle that Craig Anderson got a piece of, but eventually bounced off of Anderson’s shoulder and trickled inside the goal to give the Canes a 1-0 lead. Gleason received the only assist on the play. The goal was Sutter’s 17th of the season. Cam Ward continued to make several good saves to keep the Canes ahead until Nick Foligno took a bad kneeing penalty as he kneed Jiri Tlusty to put the Canes on the power play. Carolina made him pay as Joni Pitkanen sent a pass from the point to Jussi Jokinen who was along the half-wall, who made a perfect shot pass to Tuomo Ruutu who tipped it past Anderson to give the Canes a 2-0 lead. It was Ruutu’s 18th of the season. The two teams went into the second intermission with the Canes having a two goal lead.
The third period got a little chippy as Chris Neil made a couple of big hits causing interference penalties. Neil had one hit to Canes captain Eric Staal, which sent him to the box and immediately after he came out of the box he went after Tuomo Ruutu with another thundering hit, which also drew him a penalty. The Canes couldn’t convert on either power play, but were able to get good chances on the man advantage. Ottawa did come on strong in the third period, outshooting the Canes 16-13 in the third frame, including the Senators only goal coming at 19:47 from Jason Spezza. It was Spezza’s 33rd of the season. The horn went off at Scotiabank Place, with the Hurricanes carrying away the win.
- Tim Brent and Chad LaRose led the Canes with 5 shots on goal each. The team had 31 overall.
- Joni Pitkanen is back to leading the team with time on ice since his return, registering 24:07 last night, with Jamie McBain next with 23:29.
- Carolina ended up 1/2 on the power play and 3/3 on the penalty kill.
- Tim Brent was the only player above 50% in the face-off circle with winning 71% of his draws.
The Canes play their final home game of the season on Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens. Make sure to check back in then for a game preview and again on Friday for our recap. Until then, check us out on Facebook at CardiacCane. Also, be sure to follow Cardiac Cane writers on Twitter at: @CardiacCaneFS, @Esbee92, @peacelovepuck, @caniaccaz and @caniac176