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Hurricanes rally for 2-1 win over Canadiens

by John Kreiser /
The Carolina Hurricanes wouldn't stop shooting. Eventually, they reaped the rewards.

The 'Canes fired a season-high 48 shots at Montreal's Carey Price on Tuesday night. The payoff came in the third period when goals by Sergei Samsonov and Ray Whitney in a span of 3:27 gave them a 2-1 victory over the Canadiens at the RBC Center.

"We came out with the attitude that we were going to shoot some pucks and crash the net a little bit more," Samsonov said after scoring his first goal of the season. "We really made an effort to try to put the puck on net from any position, and I think that kind of created the forecheck."


"One of the best efforts by the Canes so far this season..."


"You can’t win when scoring less than 2 goals a game..."


"Why isn’t this kid getting the recognition he deserves?..."

Carolina has struggled to score recently, averaging fewer than two goals over the last six games. The 'Canes had no success in the first two periods despite pelting Price, who stopped all 28 shots he faced.

"That's a team that shoots everything," Price said. "Whenever they get the puck in a good shooting position, they're going to be letting it go."

But the Hurricanes came out even harder in the third period and tied the game at 3:06 when Samsonov took a pass from Patrick Eaves and snapped the puck into the net for his first goal in 19 games.

Whitney then gave Carolina the lead by finishing off a sequence that started when Dennis Seidenberg's slap shot caromed off the backboards. Scott Walker fanned from close range, but the puck rolled to Whitney, who lifted it over Price for his fifth goal and first in four games.

"We're doing what we're doing now with not a lot of goal-scoring," said Whitney, whose team outshot Montreal 20-9 in the third period.

Montreal had taken a 1-0 lead on Robert Lang's power-play goal 67 seconds into the second period. He snapped the puck past Cam Ward from the slot to end Montreal's 0-for-20 drought with the man advantage.

Despite that, the Canadiens lost for the third time in four games.

''The whole game was about who was going to take a gamble,'' Montreal forward Alex Kovalev said. ''I think every time we saw (the) opportunity to be on the safe side, we took a gamble, and it cost us. We really (need to) focus on and concentrate on the little details, which is not to worry about points or if you're going to score a goal. For now, we need to win a couple of games 1-0 or 2-1.

''There are not going to be a lot of goals like there were at the beginning of the season. That's where it starts.''

Despite the lack of offense, the Hurricanes have won their last two after losing three in a row.

"We're just building a little bit on each game," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "If you go back to (Friday's) loss in Atlanta, the next game and the next game, I think we're doing the right things and getting a little better each game. So we just have to continue on that road."

Oilers 7, Blue Jackets 2 | Video

One night after being shut out 4-0 at Detroit, the Oilers filled the net in Columbus despite being outshot 39-19. Seven Edmonton players scored; Shawn Horcoff led the way with a goal and two assists.

Edmonton broke the game open midway through the third period. After Columbus' Rick Nash scored to cut the margin to 4-2, Dustin Penner — a healthy scratch the previous two games — scored his fourth goal at 12:06. Horcoff made it 6-2 at 14:38, and Lubomir Visnovsky closed out the scoring with a long slap shot past Pascal Leclaire at 15:09.

"The fifth goal was a killer goal," Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We needed a save on the fifth goal, it's the one that broke our back."

The Oilers were outshot 15-4 in the first period, but scored on half their shots for a 2-0 lead. Sheldon Souray's power-play blast at 5:36 opened the scoring, and Andrew Cogliano tapped in Souray's pass at 13:14.

"We capitalized on virtually all our chances," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said of the first period. "Last night, we didn't capitalize on any. We had more chances and nothing to show for them."

Edmonton went nearly 20 minutes without a shot, but made it 3-0 on its next one when Marc Pouliot one-timed Cogliano's feed past Leclaire at 12:49 of the middle period.

Kristian Huselius ended Dwayne Roloson's shutout bid at 18:03, but that was the only Columbus shot to elude Roloson in the first 40 minutes, although the Oilers were outshot 29-8.

"Rollie was on top of his game," MacTavish said. "When your goalie outplays the other guy, it's usually a pretty good indication of the result. Rollie played really well last night too, and terrific tonight."

Tom Gilbert's power-play goal at 7:44 made it 4-1.

The Oilers are 9-8-2 despite playing 14 of their first 19 on the road. Edmonton takes a 7-7-0 road record back to Rexall Place for its next two games, against Detroit and Los Angeles.

"It's a good feeling to come out of here with a win," MacTavish said. "With all the road games we've played, if we get going at home, we'll be all right."

The Jackets, outscored 12-4 in their last two home games, are off until Saturday, and they're sure to get worked hard by Hitchcock before visiting Atlanta.

"I think the best thing is (to) forget about this game," Nash said. "We got a couple days off. Lots of practice for our special teams, and come back on Saturday night and put this one behind us."

Panthers 4, Lightning 3, SO


"Stamkos was on a rampage last night..."

Two games, two shootout losses. Not exactly the way Rick Tocchet had hoped his stint as Tampa Bay's interim coach would begin.

The Bolts managed to get a point, overcoming a 3-goal deficit in the process. But Nathan Horton's shootout goal spoiled Tocchet's home debut and dropped Tampa Bay to 5-7-6, including five consecutive losses.

"It's baby steps — the worst thing we can do is get frustrated," Tocchet said. "That's our job as a coaching staff to make sure that our team feels good about themselves."

Tampa Bay, which trailed by three goals in the second period, tied it at 3-3 when defenseman Steve Eminger snapped a 63-game goal-scoring drought by beating Tomas Vokoun with 2:51 left in the third.
''That's a game right there that we're going to build on,'' said Lightning goalie Mike Smith, who stopped 33 shots. ''Just shows how we can play when we play with passion."

The Lightning fired a team-record 52 shots on Vokoun, who won for the second time this season when facing 50 or more shots.

''Obviously, we got to be tighter, but we won the game,'' Vokoun said. ''We've been a fragile team. We've had some tough times, and the win is as important as anything in this game.''

Florida grabbed the lead when Bryan McCabe scored from the high slot at 7:50 of the first. David Booth made it 2-0 by scoring a power-play goal with 16.3 seconds left in the period. McCabe's power-play blast from the blue line at 7:48 of the second period gave Florida a 3-goal lead.

But Radim Vrbata got the Lightning within 3-1 at 14:42 of the second, scoring for the first time in 34 games. Steven Stamkos, the No. 1 pick in the Entry Draft in June, assisted on Vrbata's goal to end a stretch of eight games without a point.

''It's just one of those nights where when you're not winning, those games seem to slip by,'' said Stamkos, who finished with nine shots on goal. ''We need to find a way to change that. I thought it was our best game in a while.''

Evgeny Artyukhin cut Tampa Bay's deficit to 3-2 at 3:44 of the third with his first goal since Feb. 9, a span of 39 games.

Flames 4, Avalanche 1 | Video


"It was a dominating performance by the Flames..."


"Worst performance by the Avs in recent memory?..."

It took more than 52 minutes, but the Flames finally wore down Colorado goaltender Peter Budaj. Adrian Aucoin's goal with 7:32 left in regulation broke a 1-1 tie as Calgary dominated the Avalanche in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Aucoin picked off a pass, skated into the high slot and teed up a slap shot that beat Budaj, snapping a 1-1 tie.

"I got a lot into it," said Aucoin, who's known for his big shot. "Their goalie played pretty good. Hats off to our forwards. When they're pressuring like that, sometimes you have to make big plays. I was able to stay in and make the play."

The Flames completed a three-game home sweep of Colorado as Jarome Iginla hit the empty net and David Moss added a power-play goal with 10 seconds left on the last of Calgary's 51 shots and 8 power-play attempts.

"We were in the box all night because they were on the puck faster," forward Ian Laperriere said after the Flames ended Colorado's three-game winning streak. "They were more hungry, I guess. It's unacceptable. We've been resting for three days. We need to wake up."

The Flames had been stewing since last Thursday's embarrassing 6-1 loss at San Jose.
"I feel bad for him.  He's the only one who showed up tonight. We didn't have any effort in front of him. We hung him out to dry. It was embarrassing." -- Ian Laperriere on Avs netminder Peter Budaj

"We knew they would come out and play hard," Avs coach Tony Granato said. "We stood around and watched how hard they worked. They just kept coming and coming."

The Flames did come out firing. But Marek Svatos gave Colorado a 1-0 lead 6:48 into the game when he converted a passout from T.J. Hensick. Michael Cammalleri set up Rene Bourque for the equalizer at 6:52 of the second.

"We worked hard on systems and tonight that was the difference," Aucoin said. "Our guys worked hard and we did it right. When you do as you're told, things normally work out well."

Calgary kept pounding away, and the only reason the Avs were in the game at all was the play of Budaj, who finished with 47 saves and made up for most of his teammates' failings.

"I feel bad for him," Laperriere said. "He's the only one who showed up tonight. We didn't have any effort in front of him. We hung him out to dry. It was embarrassing."

Blackhawks 3, Coyotes 2, SO | Video


"The infamous circus trip has begun for the Blackhawks..."

Chicago's annual November road trip got off to a good start when Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews scored in the shootout to give the Blackhawks the extra point after they were unable to hold a 2-0 lead.

It was only the second win for the Blackhawks' in six shootouts this season. The Coyotes -- who were on the wrong end of a 36-save performance from Nikolai Khabibulin -- went past regulation for the first time this season.

"We talk about (the shootout) a lot, we try to practice it and make sure that we measure their effectiveness on it," Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said. "It's good for the goalies, as well. (Khabibulin) is big in the net every single night he's been in there."

Added Toews: "We're tired of not getting that far and not getting out with the extra point, so I think we got it through our head that we can't be satisfied with just that one point."

It didn't look like the Hawks would have to go past regulation to end a 3-game losing streak when Kris Versteeg and Sharp scored in the final 1:58 of the first period to give Chicago its two-goal lead. Versteeg put in the rebound of Patrick Kane's breakaway bid at 18:02 and Sharp stole the puck from Daniel Carcillo and beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a wrist shot at 19:10.

Zbynek Michalek got one back for the Coyotes during a power play at 6:08 of the second period. Shane Doan, playing in his 900th NHL game, tied it with a power-play blast from the top of the left circle at 5:57 of the third.

"The way we played in the third period is the way this team has to play on most nights to be successful," defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. "Being down 2-0 in our own building early — I think it's important that we got a point."

After a scoreless overtime, Toews opened the shootout with a wrist shot that went in off Bryzgalov's stick and right skate. Sharp beat Bryzgalov low to the stick side with a quick wrist shot. Khabibulin stopped Kyle Turris and Peter Mueller for the victory.

"We stuck it out in the third period," Toews said. "Khabby made some great saves. We have to stick to what makes us successful. At times we got away from that."

The Coyotes have lost 3 in a row and continue to struggle to score goals.

"It's unfortunate we couldn't get that other point," Doan said. "We had two 5-on-3's that we didn't score on that we have to score on — and if we do score then it could be a different game. We've got to generate more offense somehow, and unfortunately we haven't done it."

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