The Carolina Hurricanes used a four-goal second period to defeat the Ottawa Senators’ 6-3 this afternoon and extend their win streak to three.
Nathan Gerbe got on the board first after him and Manny Malhotra worked hard on the forecheck. Gerbe picked up the puck behind the net, twisted by the left side of the net and fired a shot between the pads of Robin Lehner that the goalie really should have saved.
Thirty-two seconds later, Gerbe made a saucer pass over a sliding Senators’ defenseman to Malhotra, who slam-dunked the beautiful feed.
After some sustained pressure and plenty of opportunities for Andrej Sekera, the defenseman found Riley Nash open in the right circle. Nash took the puck, waited, then beat Lehner high glove side with a wrist shot to make it 4-0.
Turris ended up scoring again, this time, shorthanded as MacArthur gave him a stretch pass on a 2-on-1. Turris gathered the puck and beat a sprawling Anton Khudobin.
Tuomo Ruutu scored on the same power-play as the Sens tried for another shorthanded bid. The Finnish forward picked up the puck in the neutral zone, then beat Lehner though his five-hole again on a wrist shot.
But 10 seconds later it was a two-goal game again as Mike Zibanejad put a rebound puck past Khudobin that he should have covered.
Malhotra scored in the third period on the empty net to ice the game.
The Hurricanes’ players did an excellent job of finding Lehner’s weakness and exploiting it with three goals going through the netminder’s five-hole. I’m sure that was the gameplan going into the game and the Canes couldn’t have done a better job.
Even though he didn’t show up on the scoreboard, Jordan Staal played a great game. The former Penguin won 60 percent of his faceoffs and was strong on his forechecks, while helping out in the defensive zone.
Manny Malhotra and Nathan Gerbe, who both played an excellent game, had some chemistry going. Keeping those two together may be a smart choice for coach Kirk Muller.
Khudobin didn’t play bad, making some big saves, but like I said earlier, he should have covered the puck before Zibnajed scored the third goal.
One thing that I saw a lot of that I didn’t like was some players, most notably Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner, trying to dangle around the Senators’ defensemen, only to get leveled with a big hit. Not only does it stop a good scoring chance and cause a turnover, it’s an easy way to get injured against big guys like Marc Methot and Jared Cowen.
The Hurricanes played a strong game in this one, it may have been nice if they held the Senators to fewer goals, but the offense was there to put the game out of reach.
The Canes next game is Monday against the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets.