Hurricanes drop Blues in shootout
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jussi Jokinen never lost confidence in his shootout skills.
Despite failing on his first five attempts this season, the Carolina winger Jokinen scored the game's lone shootout goal to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.
Cam Ward (12-9-3) stopped 38 shots through overtime and was perfect on three attempts in the tiebreaker to backstop the victory for the Hurricanes, who played the third game of a five-game trip and won for only the second time in nine road games.
Carolina improved to 2-4 in shootouts this season, while St. Louis fell to 3-3.
Jokinen, who has scored on 27 of 56 shootout shots in his six-year career, missed his first five this season. He made good on his sixth try, beating Jaroslav Halak with a backhander.
"I'd been struggling bad this year," Jokinen said. "I know I can score in shootouts. I'm just glad the coach kept his confidence in me."
Carolina coach Paul Maurice didn't hesitate in sending Jokinen onto the ice with the game on the line after both teams missed on their first two attempts. Ward stopped Alex Steen on the Blues' third try, setting the stage for Jokinen's winning goal.
"I know Halak is a pretty good goalie, so you need to get it upstairs if you want to score," Jokinen said. "That's what I was able to do."
Maurice said Jokinen's shooting skills and the stellar play of Ward were the keys to the victory.
"Everybody just rose to the occasion," Maurice said. "(Ward) was the difference in the game. People will look at it and say, 'A 2-1 game in a shootout, it must have been a boring game. But this thing could have been 5-5 or 6-6 with the chances both teams had."
Ward has stopped 10 of 14 shots in shootouts this season. He also played well in a 2-1 shootout loss at Dallas on Friday.
"We were due for a win," Ward said. "To be able to walk away from Dallas and St. Louis with three of four points, we can be happy with that."
Carolina center Brandon Sutter snapped the game's scoreless tie 3:18 into the third period when he broke in alone on the right wing and lifted the puck between Halak's pads for his sixth goal. St. Louis defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tied it with 13:29 left in regulation.
Halak stopped 28 shots and denied Eric Staal on a breakaway with 11 seconds left in overtime.
"Jaro was excellent, he gave us a chance," St. Louis coach Davis Payne said. "I thought we were pretty solid. We did some things that we wanted to."
St. Louis held a 5-on-3 advantage for 80 seconds late in the second period, but couldn't score. The Blues outshot Carolina 18-4 in the third period but got only one shot behind Ward.
Staal, the Hurricanes' leading scorer with 12 goals, was held without a point for a season-high fourth game in a row.
Halak couldn't stop all of the Hurricanes, though.
"I feel bad for Jaro," Steen said. "We just couldn't get the goals for him."
NOTES: This the only game of the season between the teams. St. Louis won last season's lone meeting 5-2 on Oct. 28, 2009, in Raleigh. ... Carolina D Jay Harrison sustained an undisclosed upper body injury during a first-period fight with B.J. Crombeen and didn't return. ... Carolina is 0-20 on the power play over the last six games. ... The Blues, playing their third home game of the month, will play a franchise-record 10 games at home in December. ... Staal has gone without a point in a season-high four straight games. ... St. Louis has killed 16 straight penalties.
Updated December 11, 2010