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Canes Want to 'Ride That Emotional High'

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
NEW YORK – A dramatic 3-2 overtime victory for the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night earned them a day off on Sunday, and the team returned to the ice Monday morning for practice before hopping on a plane to New York.

Here are five things to know from Monday’s skate.

1. Let’s talk about that victory over the Ottawa Senators from Saturday night for a second, shall we? What a finish it was, and it could potentially be last-second heroics that spark some momentum for the team going forward.

In a desperate scramble, with just 3.3 seconds remaining on the clock, Jeff Skinner pounced on a loose puck in the slot and fired it to the back of the net. He emphatically pumped his fist as he was mobbed by teammates and the crowd at PNC Arena leapt into frenzy.

In 3-on-3 overtime, Jordan Staal corralled the puck, cut back to the middle and, with a quick flick of the wrist, lifted to the Hurricanes to victory. Celebration ensued, and a merry band of hockey players greeted the media in the locker room.

“I would say it was desperate,” Staal said. “We were there to win the game. Obviously in the third we got real desperate trying to find that goal. It was nice to get rewarded after a big third period.”

“I was pretty happy, I guess. It was a little bit of an adrenaline rush,” Skinner said of his celebration. “It’s nice to contribute to the win.”

Now, it’s time to ride that momentum.

“It was obviously an emotional win. Every time you get a comeback, it can raise the spirits quickly,” Staal said after Monday’s practice. “Hopefully we can ride that emotional hide and bring a solid effort into New York against a good team, try to sneak out with a win and go from there.”

2. It’s going to be especially important for the Hurricanes to string some wins together, considering a five-game homestand awaits after a quick one-game trip to New York.

With a 6-8-0 record and 12 points, the Hurricanes currently find themselves five points out of a playoff spot. Head coach Bill Peters, with history at his aid, has made it clear that the Canes needs to be in playoff position come Thanksgiving if they want to have a viable shot at returning to the postseason for the first time in 2009.

“It’s a great advantage for us with that long road trip at the beginning and coming out of that in good shape. Now, having that homestand, we have to take advantage of it,” Staal said. “These are big points every night, and we’ve got to play well at home to be a tough team to play against and really hold our own in our own barn.”

3. Forward Joakim Nordstrom was recalled from a two-game conditioning stint in Charlotte on Sunday evening, and he rejoined the Canes on the ice Monday, skating on the fourth line with Jay McClement and Brock McGinn.

Before spending the weekend in Charlotte, Nordstrom had missed the team’s last nine games with a lower-body injury, stemming from a blocked shot in the team’s home opener on Oct. 10.

“It felt great,” Nordstrom said of returning to the ice. “It’s always frustrating not being able to play, so I was just real excited to be back on the ice and playing hockey again.”

While with the Checkers, Nordstrom got to experience the team’s return to Bojangles’ Coliseum on Saturday night in front of a packed house.

“I think they did a really good job to renovate it. The locker room was real nice, and it was nice in the arena, too,” he said. “We had a big crowd there the first night and a good atmosphere. Unfortunately we couldn’t score any goals … but I’m happy we came out the day after and gave them the win they deserved.”

The team rebounded with a 3-2 win on Sunday afternoon, and Nordstrom contributed with a power-play goal.

“I played 5-on-5, PK, power play, pretty much every situation,” he said. “It was nice to be out there, play a lot of minutes, get the timing back and get back in game shape.”

4. Head coach Bill Peters was not at Monday’s practice, which was led by assistant coaches Steve Smith and Rod Brind’Amour. Peters, along with members of the Canes’ front office, is in Toronto for tonight’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction ceremony.

Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. is being inducted into Hall in the Builder category, in recognition of his 40-year-plus contributions to the development of the game of hockey, making an impact in youth hockey, the Ontario Hockey League, the East Coast Hockey League and the National Hockey League.

NHL Network will carry live coverage of tonight’s events beginning at 7 p.m.

5. will be in New York to bring you coverage of the Canes’ Metropolitan Division date with the Rangers on Tuesday night. The Gameday Hub, as always, will be your one-stop shop beginning early tomorrow morning for any and all updates.

Michael Smith
MICHAEL SMITH is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.

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