RALEIGH -- Arturs Irbe had 27 saves and Jeff O'Neill scored his 24th goal of the season, but the Carolina Hurricanes fell short against the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Wednesday night at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
Al MacInnis scored a power-play goal with 2:13 left to lift the Blues, the NHL's points leader, to their 47th victory.
O'Neill scored his team-leading 24th goal of the season two minutes into the second period after St. Louis defenseman Marc Bergevin failed to clear the zone. O'Neill's shot from the top of the circle beat Roman Turek through the legs.
Irbe kept the Hurricanes in front with a pair of spectacular saves less than two minutes apart on MacInnis and Jamal Mayers. But a shot by Todd Reirden midway through the second came off the back wall and right to Marty Reasoner, who easily beat a helpless Irbe.
Irbe played in his 67th game, breaking the franchise record for appearances for a goalie, previously set by Sean Burke in 1995-96.
1st 2nd 3rd TOTAL
St. Louis 0 1 1 2
Carolina 0 1 0 1
First Period: Scoring: None.
Second Period: Scoring: 1, Carolina, Oneill 24 (unassisted), 2:02. 2, St Louis, Reasoner 9 (Reirden, Richer), 11:31. Penalties: Ellett, Stl (Obstr tripping), 2:48; Macinnis, Stl (high sticking), 14:17; Hill, Car (interference), 18:12; Bartecko, Stl (roughing), 5:10; Coffey, Car (roughing), 5:10.
Third Period: Scoring: 3, St Louis, Macinnis 9 (Richer, Pronger), 17:47. Penalties: Bartecko, Stl (roughing), 7:35; Hill, Car (roughing), 7:35; Gelinas, Car (Obstr holding), 11:51; Roberts, Car (holding), 16:27.
SHOTS ON GOAL
St Louis 11 8 10 --29
Carolina 6 10 3 --19
Power-play Conversions: Stl - 1 of 2, Car - 0 of 2. Goalies: St Louis, R Turek (19 shots, 18 saves; record: 39-13-8). Carolina, Irbe (29, 27; record: 28-26-9). A:13,014. Referees: Angus, Shick. Linesmen: Kovachik, Mcelman.
CAROLINA HURRICANES 1, ST. LOUIS BLUES 2
MARCH 22, 2000
CAROLINA HEAD COACH PAUL MAURICE:
On the third period style:
“We had the kills. We didn’t have a lot of jump in our legs. There’s no defensive style to our game. We’re trying to get the puck in. They gave up like 141 goals this year. It had a lot more to do with them than us. They had two guys in the back end who are always there. Their forwards are content to put it deep and skate in. We spent a little too much time in our end but I’m not completely sure it was all…I actually thought we played better hockey as the game went on, not worse. The fans got into it in the last 10 and that helped us a bit. ”
On the two Carolina penalties in the last ten minutes:
“Based on what was called on one end and what wasn’t called on the other end, they were not good penalties.”
On the game:
“I thought the work ethic was there, I thought there were a lot of good things. Things didn’t come easy to us tonight. There were two or three times where we just couldn’t get the puck in.”
ST. LOUIS BLUES HEAD COACH JOEL QUENNEVILLE:
On the game:
“That was a great play getting that through. I thought actually we got it tipped in there. But we had two good power plays tonight and that was one of them. We got the big goal. It’s kind of that type of year where we’re getting the timely goals and the big saves. Again tonight that was a big factor in the outcome.”
On why Carolina was tough for the Blues:
“They check well and they didn’t give up much. The first period was tight. Turek made some key saves when we were down 1-0 in the second. They don’t give up much off the attack. We didn’t really spend much time in their end. They did a nice job.”