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Recap: Senators 2, Hurricanes 1 - OT

Hammond and Khudobin have exciting goaltending duel at PNC

Anton Khudobin makes one of 31 saves against the Sens on Tuesday night
Anton Khudobin makes one of 31 saves against the Sens on Tuesday night
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Carolina Hurricanes have not seen playoff hockey in almost six years now but got to see a close facsimile of it on Tuesday night as they watched their Canes drop an exciting overtime game to the Ottawa Senators, 2-1.

This contest was not the typical loss fans have witnessed too many times over the years, this was a game filled with emotion and intensity, especially in the third period and in overtime.

The Senators are still battling for a playoff spot and have been given new life by their goalie, Andrew "the hamburglar" Hammond, who came out of nowhere to now post an 11-0-1 record in his first 12 starts.  He has allowed two or fewer goals in each of those starts, which ties an NHL record.

Anton Khudobin matched him save for save in this game though and in some cases Khudobin's saves were more spectacular.

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 1-0 lead, 12:59 into the game when Jeff Skinner found Elias Lindholm with a perfect cross-ice pass. The goal was Lindholm's 15th tally of the season and the youngster is third on the team in scoring.

The Senators would come on strong in the second period and dominated much of the play.  Khudobin made several key stops though, keeping his team in it.  The Sens finally tied the score with the help of a powerplay goal, 13:22 into the second.

The third period was like a war on the ice.

The Canes outsot the Sens 18-7 in that period, but it was Hammond's turn to put on a show.

The intensity shot up early in the third when Ron Hainsey and Mike Hoffman got tangled up and then wrestled down on the ice.  Both players were given roughing penalties for their troubles.  There was a lot of hitting and physical play in this one as the Canes were credited with 38 hits and the Sens with 33.

For the most part, the action was non-stop, up and down the ice.  Later in the third, it seemed like John-Michael Liles was going to be open for a chance, but he was taken down by Curtis Lazar, who looked like he might have hit the puck before wiping out Liles on the replay.  Liles was hurt on the play and limped off after a short delay.

A short time later, after Khudobin made another point blank save off of an open Ottawa shooter, Nathan Gerbe and Milan Michalek went after each other and both were also awarded roughing penalties.  At this point, the crowd of 13,000 plus was really into it, chanting "GERBE GERBE". Change that to "IRBE IRBE" and it was like the old days for a bit there.

After a couple more nice saves by each goalie in the ensuing four-on-four sequence, the game went to overtime.

Neither team slowed down in the extra period and the Hurricanes might have actually had the better chances, even though Khudobin made one back-to-back save sequence which was amazing.

As the five minutes wound down and most everyone thought that this dramatic game was going to end in a shootout, Kyle Turris made a sparkling move and pass to set up Mark Stone, and Stone made no mistake as he scored the game-winner with 13.4 seconds left.

The Carolina goalie was praised for being patient and Khudobin credited his father for that after the game.  "I spoke with my father last night and he said to relax, so I tried that, along with some energy and it worked," he said.

The Canes will travel to Montreal on Wednesday for a match with the Canadiens on Thursday night.

Game Notes:

  • Brett Bellemore had a team high six hits, Lindholm had a team high five shots, and Justin Faulk led the way with 27:30 of ice time.
  • In all, Khudobin made 31 saves on 33 shots for the night.  Hammond made 35 saves on 36 Carolina shots.