The Carolina Hurricanes finished the team's final trip to the West Coast in fine fashion with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks. The victory improved Carolina's record on the four-game trip to 3-1-0 and its overall record to 28-29-9. Carolina has won its past two games and is 5-4-1 in its last 10 contests.
Carolina has a chance to reach the .500 mark when the team faces off against the Chicago Blackhawks this Wednesday night at the Entertainment and Sports Arena for the first time since January 9, 2000, when the Hurricanes scored a 1-0 win over the New York Rangers for a 17-17-8 record.
Jeff O'Neill opened the scoring with his 20th goal of the season at 14:32 of the first period. For O'Neill, it is the first time the former first round pick has reached the 20-goal plateau in the NHL.
After San Jose took a 2-1 advantage, Robert Kron tied the game at 18:15 of the second period and the two teams went into the third period tied.
Andrei Kovalenko scored his 13th goal of the year just 3:27 into the third period to give Carolina the lead. Ron Francis added two insurance goals (13:47 and 16:06) for the victory.
Goaltender Arturs Irbe made 11 saves on the night as the Hurricanes outshot the Sharks by a 26-13 margin.
SummaryCarolina 1 1 3--5San Jose 0 2 0--2 FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Carolina, Oneill 20 (Coffey), 14:32.Penalties: Kapanen, Car (roughing), 2:19; Hannan, S.J. (roughing), 2:19;Nolan, S.J. (slashing), 12:19.SECOND PERIOD -- Scoring: 2, San Jose, B Stuart 9 (power play) (Nolan,Ricci), 11:51. 3, San Jose, Damphousse 15 (Korolyuk), 17:55. 4, Carolina,Kron 10 (Kovalenko, Battaglia), 18:15. Penalties: Ragnarsson, S.J. (highsticking), 3:05; Hill, Car (tripping), 10:17; Malik, Car ( double high sticking minor), 11:03; Oneill, Car (interference), 15:39; Korolyuk, S.J.(unsportsmanlike conduct), 15:39; Ricci, S.J. (tripping), 15:47; Wesley,Car (slashing), 19:48.THIRD PERIOD -- Scoring: 5, Carolina, Kovalenko 13 (Kron, Battaglia),3:27. 6, Carolina, Francis 20 (Ranheim), 13:47. 7, Carolina, Francis 21(power play) (Ranheim, Gelinas), 16:06. Penalties: A Sutton, S.J.(charging), 15:49; Hill, Car (boarding), 18:17.Shots on goal:Carolina 5 12 9--26San Jose 6 4 3--13
Power-play Conversions: Car - 1 of 4, San - 1 of 5. Goalies: Carolina,Irbe (13 shots, 11 saves; record: 25-22-8). San Jose, Shields (26, 21;record: 20-26-6). A:17,483. Referee: Leggo. Linesmen: Cameron, Mitton.