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WILLIS NETS TWO IN HURRICANES VICTORY

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes recorded their second straight win at the Entertainment and Sports Arena 3-2 against the New Jersey Devils. Rookie winger Shane Willis found the net twice for his fourth and fifth goals in the last two Hurricanes games.

Willis’ 16th and 17th goals of the season moved into first place among National Hockey League rookies in goals, game-winning goals and power-play goals.

Willis’ second came at 3:18 of the third period when his slapshot from just inside the blue line that beat New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur high and to the glove side.

The Hurricanes and their coach Paul Maurice are pleased with Willis’ performances of late.

“Those guys that are goal-scorers, they get that confidence and they want to shoot the puck,” said Maurice. “The second one more than the first one, he wasn’t looking to do anything but shooting that puck. That’s what we want.”

Still, the game was not a lock until the final horn. The Devils threatened on several occasions in the third period including during the last 10 seconds of the game when they won two offensive zone faceoffs and put shots on net.

“They got two good scoring chances off that at the end of the game,” said Maurice. “We looked like we were dragging.”

Carolina goaltender Arturs Irbe made 26 saves but said that the Devils’ shots during those final 10 seconds were not the most difficult of the game.

“The had good chances but they didn’t get their shots off so my job wasn’t that difficult,” said Irbe. “The first one, with 10 seconds to go, I couldn’t pick the play up because there were a lot of players in front and a lot of screens. So, I just slid over to take away short-sided bottom.

“Niedermayer showed a lot of patience and brought it across and tried to slip it through and luckily the bad ice contributed to a not so hard shot,” said Irbe. “The boys there did a good time chopping up the ice and so I just stuck my arm up and had a chance to freeze it.”

The Devils opened the scoring when centerman John Madden found the net just 1:59 into the game. Madden slid a shot underneath a sliding Dave Karpa and through the pads of Irbe for his 18th goal of the season.

Willis first goal came 16 minutes after Madden’s goal. With the man-advantage, Hurricanes defenseman Kevin Hatcher let a slapshot fly from the blue line that center Rod Brind’Amour re-directed on goal. The puck rebounded off goaltender Martin Brodeur’s pads to Willis who one-timed it into the net.

Defenseman Glen Wesley netted the Hurricanes’ second, again on the power play, 51 seconds after Willis put Carolina on the board. Wesley’s slapshot from the top of the slot was his fifth goal of the season.

New Jersey tied the game 2-2 at 7:42 of the second period when winger Patrik Elias re-directed a Colin White shot on goal and past Irbe. The shorthanded goal was the Devils’ sixth of the season and the 13th allowed by Carolina this season while on the man-advantage.

The game was the Hurricanes’ sixth in the last 10 days and they will faceoff with Washington tomorrow night. Maurice said that the team can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“We were really worried about this stretch of seven in 11,” said Maurice. “We were worried about this month, having to go out West and then come back and face it. I think we are at a point where we are guaranteed .500, which might have been a goal when you looked at the month. If we can get through the month .500 – hopefully a little bit better, we think we can, and then we’d be in good position. But we’re not playing great. We are not real sharp right now. And we are finding ways to win.”

1st2nd3rdTOTAL
New Jersey1102
Carolina2013

First Period: Scoring: 1, New Jersey, Madden 18 (Pandolfo,Niedermayer), 1:59. 2, Carolina, Willis 16 (power play) (Brindamour,Hatcher), 16:59. 3, Carolina, G Wesley 5 (power play) (Oneill, Kapanen),17:50. Penalties: Holik, N.J. (Slashing), 8:47; Jefferson, N.J.(Roughing), 15:24; Jefferson, N.J. (Hooking), 17:23; Bicek, N.J.(Holding), 18:41.-
Second Period: Scoring: 4, New Jersey, Elias 22 (shorthanded) (White,S Stevens), 7:42. Penalties: Tanabe, Car (tripping), 5:33; Dagenais, N.J.(Goalie interference), 6:54; T Stevenson, N.J. ( Double roughing minor),13:33.-
Third Period: Scoring: 5, Carolina, Willis 17 (Tanabe, Gelinas), 3:18.Penalties: Bicek, N.J. , 8:32.-
SHOTS ON GOAL

New Jersey10126--28
Carolina

10
7
5
--22

Power-play Conversions: Njd - 0 of 1, Car - 2 of 8. Goalies: NewJersey, M Brodeur (22 shots, 19 saves; record: 27-15-11). Carolina, Irbe(28, 26; record: 26-20-7). A:14,685. Referees: Kimmerly, Koharski.Linesmen: Racicot, S Provost.

INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS

New JerseyCarolina
GA+/-ShotsGA+/-Shots
Bicek
Dagenais
Elias
Gron
Holik
J Mckenzie
Jefferson
K Daneyko
Madden
Nemchinov
Niedermayer
Pandolfo
R Mckay
Rafalski
S Stevens
Sutton
T Stevenson
White
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
-1
even
+1
+1
-1
even
even
even
+1
even
+1
+1
even
-1
even
even
even
+2
1
1
4
2
6
0
1
1
2
0
3
1
0
1
3
0
2
0
Battaglia
Brindamour
Dimaio
Francis
G Wesley
Gelinas
Halko
Hatcher
J Daniels
Kapanen
Karpa
Malik
Oneill
Ozolinsh
T Westlund
Tanabe
Vasicek
Willis
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
1
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
-1
even
even
even
+1
+1
even
even
even
even
-2
even
-1
-2
even
even
-1
even
3
1
1
1
2
1
0
2
1
3
1
1
1
0
0
0
1
3
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