The Carolina Hurricanes snapped a two-game losing streak Thursday night, welcoming Justin Faulk back to the lineup with a 4-2 win over the St. Louis Blues powered by two bookending goals by Derek Ryan.
The Canes came to play early. Ryan put the visitors on the board early with a goal off the rush a minute into the game, all alone to the right of Blues goalie Jake Allen. A quick snap shot fooled Allen, who was slow in reacting to a shot to the far side of the net, and gave Ryan his first goal in nine games. It also snapped a seven-game drought without a point.
The teams took too-many-men penalties within a minute of each other and the Canes also had a David Perron interference penalty to work with late in the period, but neither team was able to score and the Canes went to the locker room up by a goal, a situation in which Carolina was 8-3-2 this season entering the contest.
Joel Edmundson’s first of the season, the second of his NHL career, tied the game for St. Louis 3:04 into the second period on a point shot that snuck through a ton of traffic and past an unsuspecting Cam Ward. After Allen snuffed out a Sebastian Aho breakaway, Vladimir Tarasenko hit paydirt on a power play with an unstoppable snipe from between the circles that gave the Blues their only lead of the night.
Three and a half minutes later, former Blue Jay McClement tied the game back for the Hurricanes on a goal that Allen will see in his nightmares. McClement’s one-timer from the right circle bounced off Allen’s sweater and under his arm, an excuse-me goal that gave the Canes life.
The Canes’ power play looked rather hopeless on a late second-period two-man advantage that ended prematurely when Jordan Staal took a slashing penalty at 14:59. But as it's done all year, the Canes’ penalty kill gave them momentum, killing a tripping penalty to Lee Stempniak midway through the third period.
When Brad Hunt took a slashing penalty at 13:35, the stage was set. Jeff Skinner made short work of the Canes’ power play just eighteen seconds into the man advantage, taking a cross-ice pass from Noah Hanifin and unleashing a rocket from the far circle that was perfectly placed into the top corner of the St. Louis net.
The Canes had to sweat out a late-period Ryan delay of game penalty, but killed it off and Ryan rewarded his penalty killers with his second of the game, into the empty net with 1:19 to go. He earned the first star of the game as the Canes won for the second straight year in their only visit to St. Louis.
Staal and Brock McGinn both tallied two assists, and new acquisition Ty Rattie played 13 minutes, all at even strength, in his debut against the team that waived him two days ago. Ward made 21 saves as the Canes dealt the Blues just their fifth regulation loss of the season at home.
The Canes now take the short trip up I-55 to Chicago for a matchup tomorrow night with the conference-leading Blackhawks, looking for a season sweep. The Blues will look for revenge when they visit Raleigh in the penultimate game of the season, April 8 at PNC Arena.
Rank the Performances
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