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Recap: Power Play Pushes Canes Past Senators

Canes extend winning streak to four games

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

OTTAWA - The Carolina Hurricanes scored two power-play goals, which included the game-winner in the third period, and a shorthanded goal to defeat the Ottawa Senators, 5-4.

Justin Williams' power-play marker in the third period was the difference, while Justin Faulk, Brock McGinn, Jaccob Slavin and Dougie Hamilton also chipped in with goals in the Canes' fourth straight victory.

"We had a great third period, won a third period on the road and won a game," Williams said.

Here are five takeaways from a Sunday matinee.

One

A week ago, the Hurricanes' power play was derided for its ineffectiveness and inability to make a difference in a positive way when the team needed it most.

This afternoon, the Canes' power play was a perfect 2-for-2, and it came through in the first half of the third period to tally the game-winning goal.

Teuvo Teravainen stickhandled at the top of the near circle, and with time and space to shoot, he let go of a wrist shot that deflected off Williams and in.

Video: CAR@OTT: Williams nets PPG on deflection in front

"The guys up top - Aho, Teravainen and Faulk - they're releasing to work it around very well. Once you can attack from both sides, it's tough to defend," Williams said. "We're getting some looks, getting some shots and they're going in."

"I think the biggest thing is that they're moving the puck really quick," Hamilton said of the power play. "Those guys are moving it really well and hitting seams, just doing everything right. That's a big part of why we're winning right now."

Two

Special teams was the story of the first period for the Canes, and they accomplished a feat no NHL team has in 10 years: scoring a power-play goal and a shorthanded goal in the first five minutes of the game.

Sebastian Aho drew a tripping call on Zack Smith just 41 seconds into the game, and 31 seconds into the power play, Aho, Teravainen and Faulk zipped it around, and Faulk finished the play off with a one-time blast from the point for his third goal of the season.

Video: CAR@OTT: Faulk strikes on power play for early lead

"The execution has been better in the last few," head coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "The pucks are actually on the tape, and the passes are a little more crisp."

Three minutes later, with Victor Rask in the box for slashing, McGinn intercepted a cross-ice pass from Mark Stone and took it the other way with an incredible burst of speed from his own blue line. In alone, he tapped the puck through Marcus Hogberg's five-hole to double the Canes' lead.

Video: CAR@OTT: McGinn converts on breakaway for SHG

"Kind of out of nowhere you get a goal when you don't expect it. It gives you a little jolt of energy. That's big," Williams said of the shorthanded contribution. "Our PK has been really good, and as long as the power play keeps going, we'll be fine."

Three

A wild second period saw the Senators twice turn a two-goal deficit into a one-goal game, only to have the Hurricanes stretch the lead back to two goals in both instances.

Two-and-a-half minutes into the second, Matt Duchene halved the Canes' lead. Four minutes later, Jaccob Slavin beat Hogberg clean with a slap shot from the top of the far circle. After that tally, Anders Nilsson replaced Hogberg in net, the third time in the last four games that the Hurricanes have chased the opponents' starting goaltender.

Video: CAR@OTT: Slavin rips heavy slapper to pad lead

Ryan Dzingel took advantage of a Senators' power play at the 12:17 mark to again bring his team within a goal, but not even three minutes later, Hamilton joined a rush, accepted a pass from Aho and scored on a wrist shot from between the circles for his third goal in as many games.

"I injured myself at the start of November, and that kind of hampered me," he said. "It's starting to feel better, and that's helping. It's nice to see it go in."

Video: CAR@OTT: Hamilton wires wrister past Nilsson

With the trio of Faulk, Slavin and Hamilton netting goals, it was the first time since March 21, 2009, that three different Canes defensemen scored goals in a single game.

"Yeah, about time they scored some goals," Williams joked with Hamilton doing a television interview within earshot. "It's very important to get offense from the back-end, certainly from your big bombers."

"Our D is supposed to be the strong part of our team," Hamilton said. "Everyone on our D can score goals, get in the rush and make plays."

Four

In the last minute of the period, the Senators again ate into the Canes' advantage, as Rudolfs Balcers smacked in his first career goal. Just eight seconds later, in his first game back in the lineup this season, Jean Gabriel Pageau tied the game at four.

After that back-and-forth period and the demoralization of losing a two-goal lead in the span of eight short seconds in the final minute, the Canes headed back to the locker room in an even 4-4 game.

And that's where they parked it.

"We knew it wasn't good. We just had to go back out and refresh," Hamilton said. "It was a tie game on the road. We were fine. Then the PP came up big again. It was a good win."

"It was surprisingly easy to park," Williams said. "Mrazek came in after and was like, 'That's on me.' We instantly said, 'No, no, no. You've had our back all the time. It's time for us to pick you up.' That's what good teams do. They pick each other up."

Nothing much else needed to be said.

"It was pretty much self-explanatory. Forget about the goals. The fact that we knew we weren't playing our game, everybody knew it. We were fortunate to be up at that point," Brind'Amour said. "We got in here, and I even said to the guys that we were lucky to be even. Give them credit for getting together and having a great period.

"The guys rallied and played the way we were supposed to play. That was a good third period."

Five

That good third period extended the Canes' winning streak to four games, their second such stretch of the season.

"When you're winning, you're feeling good," Hamilton said. "Scoring goals helps with the confidence. Everyone is feeling good. You just go out there and play."

Keep winning, keep building.

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