The Carolina Hurricanes were able to end a five-game losing and earn their first win since the Olympic break tonight as they beat the San Jose Sharks, 3-2, in overtime.
Jiri Tlusty got the Hurricanes on the board first when he accepted a two-line pass from Alexander Semin at the Sharks’ blue line, turned Jason Demers inside out and then went on a breakaway. Tlusty slid the puck between Alex Stalock‘s pads through his five-hole to score.
Khudobin made another unfortunate play before the end of the first period when he went behind the net to play a loose puck, fumbled it and caused a turnover. After a scramble in front, Brent Burns gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead by shooting the puck over Khudobin.
Elias Lindholm tied it back up on a perfect cycle play that found Eric Staal behind the net and Lindholm in the slot. Staal fed the rookie the puck, who then put it over Stalock’s right shoulder to score.
A scoreless third period led to overtime where Lindholm made a behind-the-back pass to a wide-open Jay Harrison on a rebound. Harrison shot into the empty net to win the game for the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes played like a playoff team tonight, which to be honest, doesn’t feel that great after the team pretty much abandoned all hope for the postseason with its record over the past week and a half.
However, there’s still some things to be happy about – most notably the play of Elias Lindholm, who had one of his best games in his short career. The 19-year-old scored a smart goal in the second period, then made a beautiful pass that you would expect from a playmaking veteran to Harrison for the game-winner.
Even though, Khudobin made a big mistake on the second goal and was a bit unlucky on the first, he played a great game after signing a contract extension. When the Canes struggled in the third, he was there to bail them out and it showed how valuable that contract extension is.
While this win may come too late for the Hurricanes’ playoff chances, it was nice to see a strong effort from the team. Last season, the Canes seemed to roll over in the last month and a half of the season. It would be much better for fans and the team alike, if the Hurricanes play like they did tonight for the rest of the season.