Hurricanes 2, Senators 1, OT

The Carolina Hurricanes haven’t had much go their way, even

after changing coaches about a month ago.

Their leading scorer, Jeff Skinner, is on injured reserve with a

concussion, and perennial All-Star captain Eric Staal has endured

several lengthy scoring droughts.

The Hurricanes, who are last in the Eastern Conference, hope

Friday night’s win can help turn their season around.

Tuomo Ruutu tipped in Jay Harrison’s slap shot in overtime to

lift Carolina to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

”Tonight is the most complete game we’ve played, and I think it

can be a model for us going forward,” Harrison said.

Cam Ward made 22 saves for Carolina, which outshot the Senators

38-23, including 29-14 through the first two periods. But the

Hurricanes had a tough time getting the puck past Craig

Anderson.

”We had so many chances off the rebound, but we couldn’t bury

them,” said Ruutu, who was denied on several opportunities in

regulation.

The Hurricanes had not won an overtime game this season,

including December extra-time outings under coach Kirk Muller, who

replaced the fired Paul Maurice during the last week of

November.

”We’ve been in this situation before, and it hasn’t gone our

way,” Ward said. ”It was rewarding to see the guys score there in

overtime.”

Muller said the game underscored his message to the players to

keep pushing and pay attention to detail. Ruutu in particular seems

to have gotten the message.

”I’m really happy they stayed with it. They pushed hard,”

Muller said. ”It was great that Roots got it. He earned it because

of the way he’s been playing.”

Carolina dominated the early play but couldn’t capitalize often

against Anderson, who stopped 36 shots. The Hurricanes had a 5-on-3

power play for 1:52 just past the midway point of the first period,

but Anderson saved all their chances.

Andreas Nodl scored for Carolina less than 3 minutes in off the

skate of an Ottawa defenseman. Nodl’s goal was his second of the

season – both coming in the last two games.

Filip Kuba countered for the Senators with 2:45 left in the

first, sending a bouncing shot through Ward’s legs.

The teams remained scoreless until overtime, when Ruutu got his

stick on Harrison’s blast 1:36 into the extra period.

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said his team was sluggish after

playing Thursday night at home, a 4-3 win over Florida.

”We didn’t really generate a whole lot of offense

consistently,” MacLean said. ”We played too much in our own end

of the rink. . Overall, we’re not happy with losing, but we can

accept the point under the circumstances.”

Before Ruutu’s goal, the last time Carolina scored a 4-on-4

overtime goal to win was March 18 against the New York

Islanders.

”We haven’t been too successful in overtimes,” Ruutu said.

”Sometimes you gotta go 65 minutes, and that’s what we did

tonight. We have to keep going and remember how hard we worked

tonight.”

Ottawa fell to 5-5 this season in overtime games.

Notes: Tim Brent, Joni Pitkanen and Derek Joslin were scratches

for Carolina. Ottawa’s scratches were leading scorer Milan Michalek

and defenseman Brian Lee. … Ottawa won the previous two meetings

this season, 3-2 in Raleigh in October and 4-3 in Ottawa in

November. … Carolina’s Riley Nash, playing his second NHL game,

recorded his first point with an assist on Nodl’s goal. Nash was

originally credited with the goal before replays showed

otherwise.