The Carolina Hurricanes once again found themselves in the familiar position of being down 2-0 in the first period, but in this game they were not necessarily starting the game off slowly. The Canes were out-shooting the San Jose Sharks and had good possession time, even though they were losing up on the scoreboard.
The home team did not give up and ended up scoring three goals in a row to take the lead, watched the Sharks tie things up again on a long goal, but then scored twice more to take the game, 5-3 in front of 14,553 at the PNC Arena on Friday night.
Elias Lindholm was the game's first star as he earned his first career multi-point NHL game, while also scoring the game-winner.
Cam Ward was not as sharp as he was a week or so ago as he allowed a goal on the Sharks' second shot of the game, then another later in the period as the team fell behind, 2-0.
At the other end of the rink, goalie Alex Stalock was standing on his head. He stole one goal away from Nathan Gerbe and made several other solid saves as the Canes outshot the Sharks in that period, 13-10.
The second period has been Carolina's forte this season though and they did score 11:36 into it when a Jay Harrison shot from the point, somehow rattled by Stalock. Zach Boychuk was in front of the net creating havoc and also earned an assist on the play.
Before this game, the Hurricanes were the NHL's lowest scoring team in the third period, but that changed after this night.
Just 4:34 into the period, Riley Nash tipped in another Harrison shot, to tie the score. Lindholm earned the second assist.
Less than two minutes later, Stalock failed to secure a loose puck in the crease and Jordan Staal was there to jam it home. Nathan Gerbe got the primary assist and Lindholm again got the secondary. The Hurricanes had all the momentum and were buzzing around the Sharks' net, but the momentum would soon change.
At 9:35 into the period, Justin Braun wristed a shot from the blueline which evaded Cam Ward's glove hand, and the score was tied once more. In other games, that might have deflated the team, but it did not this time around.
Four minutes and change later, Andrej Sekera walked the blueline and fired one at the the net. Lindholm was able to get his stick on it and tipped it past Stalock for the eventual game winner.
Eric Staal made an empty-netter with less than a minute left to finish the scoring.
Coach Kirk Muller was understandably proud of his group after the game.
"That was our best game this year," he said.
The Canes will travel to Vancouver tomorrow for a game on Monday against the Canucks.
- There were no passengers in this one as everyone made a contribution. Kevin Westgarth had a team low 4:45 of ice time while Jeff Skinner had a team high 23:22.
- Jordan Staal, Jay Harrison, and Riley Nash each had two points.
- Lindholm had the best game of his young career as not only did he have a goal and two assists in the third period, he had a hit, two takeaways, and a blocked shot in the game as well.
Tuomo Ruutu had four hits and four blocked shots, both team highs. He also got his nose in front of the goalie numerous times, as he has been doing in recent games.
- The team outshot the Sharks 35-25 and were led by Gerbe with six, Jordan Staal, with five, and Eric Staal with four.
- Manny Malhotra had another stellar game in the circle as he won 77% of his draws.