Jiri Tlusty had his ninth multi-goal game of the season but it was not enough to help the Carolina Hurricanes win their final home game of the 2013 season as they lost to the New York Rangers, 4-3 in overtime on Thursday night at the PNC Arena.
The Rangers clinched a playoff spot with the win while the Canes finished with a 9-14-1 home record, earning fewer points at home than any team in the NHL.
The three Staal brothers, Eric, Jordan, and Jared started the game, making them only the fourth set of three brothers to do so in NHL history. Jared Staal said after the game that he never dreamed of that happening.
"I was just hoping to get out there at some point," he said after the game.
The youngest Staal was recalled for this game on Wednesday from Charlotte.
When Kirk Muller was asked after the game about his decision to start the brothers, he smiled and replied,
"This is a part of NHL history and I am sure it is something they will always remember."
Jared said that he did not want to be a liability out there and he succeeded at that, even if he did not dent the scoresheet with any points. He was credited with five hits for the game and was not on the ice when any goals were scored.
The game started with the Rangers jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Canes came roaring back in the second. Tlusty would score his first on a powerplay goal when he was set up nicely by Jeff Skinner. Then later in the period, Tuomo Ruutu lit the lamp on a nifty shot when he roofed one perfectly past Henrik Lundqvist.
Just 49 seconds into the third, Tlusty scored his second goal of the night off of an Eric Staal assist and the Canes had an improbable 3-2 lead. Staal and Tlusty played much of the night with Chad LaRose on their line because linemate Alexander Semin is out the rest of the season with a concussion.
The Hurricanes held the lead, even though the Rangers were out-shooting them by a wide margin, until Brad Richards tied the game on a powerplay goal with just 2:57 left in the game. It was a tough luck goal as the shot hit off the end boards and bounced in the net off Dan Ellis's skate.
Ruutu was in the penalty box because of a disputed tripping call, which Muller was still unhappy about after the game.
While the Hurricanes were outshot 12-2 in the third period, they dominated the overtime period until Ryan Callahan clanged in the game-winning goal off the pipes on New York's only shot of the OT.
The Hurricanes will travel to Pittsburgh on Friday to close out their season against the Pens on Saturday night.
- The Canes were credited with 35 hits for the game. Ruutu and Tim Gleason had six apiece.
- Jay Harrison took a puck to the face in the second period and left the ice bleeding badly. He did not return and there was no update on his status.
- Jamie McBain had a team high four blocked shots. In all Carolina had 19.
- The Canes had 21 shots on goal for the game and were led by Eric Staal with four.
- Dan Ellis made 34 saves in the loss.