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.