RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Sean Hill has gone to more wrist shots since he's a
little thin on sticks. The defenseman's new approach has produced three goals
in two games for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Hill broke Carolina's power-play slump, scoring twice with the man advantage
in leading the Hurricanes to a 2-1 overtime victory against the Montreal
Canadiens on Saturday night.
Hill's game-winner came three seconds after Andrei Markov was called for a
cross check on Jeff O'Neill 35 seconds into OT. Ron Francis won the draw and
Hill blasted a high shot over the glove of Jose Theodore.
"One of the big things is I'm getting in tighter to the net for my shots. I
don't need to take slap shots," said Hill, who has broken numerous sticks this
season with big windups. "And I only have one stick left now so I'm not taking
a whole lot of slap shots in games or practices."
Theodore had little chance to save Hill's quick winner.
"I didn't see it. I got screened off," the Montreal goaltender said. "I
went down to protect the bottom half of the net and he went upstairs."
Carolina had been scoreless on its last 26 power plays -- including 18 in a
row under new coach Peter Laviolette -- before Hill's low wrist shot with the
man advantage beat Theodore with 4:32 left in the second period.
Hill had gone 33 games without a goal before scoring on consecutive nights.
He notched his first of the season in a 3-1 loss at Buffalo on Friday night.
"Both shots tonight were quick, hard and accurate," Laviolette said of
Hill. "It's nice to see him get it off and hopefully he can gain some
confidence from that and keep it going.
"He's an offensive guy who can shoot the puck. In my opinion, he belongs on
the power play."
Montreal lost its third straight road game after being off two days for the
"You would hope your team comes back with a little more jump, but we seemed
rusty," coach Claude Julien said.
Richard Zednik scored on a Montreal power play six minutes into the third,
one-timing a shot from the slot past Kevin Weekes to tie the score.
Zednik's 12th of the season tied Sheldon Souray for the team lead.
Jan Bulis also hit the post with 6:49 left in regulation for the Canadiens
before Hill's dramatic winner.
Laviolette changed Carolina's lines and defensive pairings to try to get
some offense out of the lowest scoring team in the league. But the Hurricanes
scored two goals or less for the 27th time in 35 games.
"I don't think we'll be the highest scoring team in the NHL, but the goals
will come more freely -- maybe with confidence, maybe with wins," said
Laviolette, now 3-2 since replacing Paul Maurice behind the Carolina bench.
Carolina got a four-minute power play less than two minutes in when Joe
Juneau high-sticked Rod Brind'Amour and drew blood. The Hurricanes didn't even
get a shot on net.
Montreal's only power play of the first produced the best scoring chance of
the period. However, Weekes stoned Michael Ryder from in close with 1:41 left
to keep it scoreless.
Weekes also stopped Ryder from point-blank range less than two minutes after
Carolina took a 1-0 lead.