Elias Lindholm scored a goal and set up the game-winning goal as the Carolina Hurricanes won the final game of their road trip, 3-2 over the San Jose Sharks in overtime late Tuesday night. This was definitely the best overall effort since the Olympic break for the Canes.
The Sharks have one of the best home records in the NHL and were previously 22-4-3 in the Shark Tank.
The Canes had some jump in the first period and Jiri Tlusty opened the scoring when Alexander Semin sent him a perfect pass, blueline to blueline. Tlusty broke in alone and backhanded the puck past Alex Stalock to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the road trip.
Unfortunately, it was a short-lived lead as Marty Havlat knocked in a juicy rebound less than a minute later to tie the game.
The Sharks took a 2-1 lead late in the period when Anton Khudobin seemed to have another communication problem with the defense as he skated behind his net to play a puck. Raffi Torres took the puck away from the goalie and before he was able to get set, Brent Burns scored to make it, 2-1.
The Canes were not done this night though. Early in the second period, Eric Staal set up shop behind the San Jose net and found Lindholm skating to an open spot in front. After receiving the pass from the captain, the rookie made no mistake and scored his fifth goal of the season to tie the game, 2-2.
Andrej Sekera set up the play with some nice puck handling along the boards.
Sekera had another excellent game and played a team high, 26:12 of ice time. Semin led all forwards with 25:08 of time on the ice.
The Sharks turned up the pressure in the third period and outshot the Canes 16-7 but Khudobin and the defense held the fort and did what they needed to, to keep the home team off the scoreboard.
In overtime, both teams skated end to end for some exciting sequences until Sekera and Eric Staal teamed up again. They got the puck to Lindholm, who then backhanded the puck toward the net. The puck squirted out right to Jay Harrison, who was there to knock in the game-winner.
Officially it was an unassisted goal, but Lindholm set it up with his nifty shot (or pass), toward the net and was credited with the assist on the play.
The Canes will fly home after the trade deadline has passed on Wednesday and will play their next game at home on Friday night against the New York Rangers.
- Khudobin made 35 saves on 37 shots and really looked calm when things got crazy in the third period. He was named the game's first star.
- The Canes put 35 shots on goal and were led by Semin and Tlusty with four shots each.
- Jordan Staal led the way in the faceoff circle by winning 67%. The team won 58% for the game. Staal also was credited with a game high seven hits.
- The team had 17 blocked shots, led by Ron Hainsey and John-Michael Liles with three each.