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Senators Hold Off Hurricanes, 4-3

Two of the worst defenses in the NHL met on Sunday night and the home team came out on top as the Ottawa Senators jumped out to a lead against the Carolina Hurricanes and held on to win, 4-3.  The Canes have now lost three games in a row and 10 of their last 13 contests. 

Jason Spezza broke out of his scoring slump in a big way and scored two goals in this game, while Eric Staal notched an even strength goal, a rarity this season for him.

Ottawa jumped ahead 1-0 just 55 seconds into the opening period, when Spezza split the Carolina defense and went right down the middle of the ice for an easy score.  Chad LaRose and Tim Gleason both seemed slow to react to the play. 

But Patrick Dwyer tied things up on a nice shot at an angle while on a rush at 15:03.  Spezza would score again in the period though, making the score 2-1 with a powerplay tally.  

After what looked like would be a scoreless second period, Ottawa would notch another with just 14 clicks left in the second, making the score 3-1.  But Carolina did not give up on the game and Staal made it 3-2 at 6:32 into the third with a nice put back of a Joni Pitkanen rebound.  

Ottawa would score again later in the period to make it 4-2, but once again, the Canes did not quit.  Alexei Ponikarovsky scored a powerplay tally, the first on eight tries for the team, to keep hope alive. 

But the Hurricanes could not get the goal they needed to tie things up near the end of regulation and had to settle for another loss.    

Carolina will start a three game homestand against Florida on Tuesday night.

Game Notes:

  • Tomas Kaberle was healthy scratched in this one.  Credit should be given because it is easier said than done to scratch one of the highest paid players on the team.  We will see if the move motivates him.  
  • Ottawa and Winnipeg are two teams not chosen by many to make the playoffs this season.  To lose to them in consecutive games is not a good sign for Carolina.  
  • After a lackluster performance on Friday night, the team did put many more shots on goal than their opposition in this one.  The Canes had 37 shots to just 25 for the Sens and according to our intern, out-chanced the team 19-13.  
  • The Canes had plenty of opportunities on the powerplay, but ended up going 1-8.   That success ratio is pretty much right on their second to last in the league, 12% average.  
  • Brandon Sutter and Staal did well in the faceoff circle, but the team finished at 45%.  (Staal 58%, Sutter 63%, Jokinen 22%, Brent 22%) 
  • Derek Joslin dropped the gloves with Colin Greening and fought well.  According to Hockey, it was the first fight in nine games for the Hurricanes and only the second in 19 games.  The team has five fighting majors for the season, the second fewest in the league.  
  • The team was credited with 14 hits, led by Patrick Dwyer and Tuomo Ruutu with three each.
  • Joni Pitkanen returned for his first game after missing eight.  He had one assist but finished at -1, to go with his team high 27:16 of ice time.  Jamie McBain was next with 24:12.  Gleason had 17:40, but Bryan Allen only had 12:32 of ice time. 
  • Brett Sutter seemed to be having a good game and earned an assist early, but saw only 6:29 of ice time.  Anthony Stewart was next lowest with 6:50.
  • Check out post game interviews and more info at Canes