Sunday afternoon was a rough go for the Hurricanes in Newark, and the first two periods brought some more of the same in Canada’s capital on Tuesday. It was a four-goal outbreak from Carolina’s offense in the third period that proved to be the difference-maker, though.
The Canes had a strong start to the opening frame, but a couple of sloppy neutral zone shifts flipped the momentum and it was the Senators who got on the board first. Mark Stone whacked one home in front of Curtis McElhinney to make it 1-0 with just under eight minutes to go in the first period.
The rest of the first period saw a lot of back-and-forth action. Carolina had a healthy lead on the shot clock, but it felt like it was Ottawa that got the majority of the high-end chances. Through 20 minutes, though, the scored stood at 1-0.
The second period saw Ottawa start to push back and gain momentum. They put 14 shots on McElhinney in the middle frame and the veteran backstop had to make a number of big saves on odd-man rushes and sustained zone-time chances. A late-period power play off of a Ryan Dzingel penalty gave the Canes a chance to strike, but it was more of the same from their flailing power play. They got a couple of chances, but those were created off of hectic scrums and bounces. The Sens killed the minor penalty and Carolina’s power play worsened to 2/20 in the month of February.
Whatever happened in between periods, it got the Canes awake and pushing. On the opening shift of the final period, the Canes got on the board. Dougie Hamilton delivered a slick slap pass to Micheal Ferland and the former Flames hugged shortly thereafter thanks to Ferland’s big game-tying marker.
Ottawa got into more penalty trouble just moments later, and it was solely up to the Hurricanes’ power play to step up and take control. Solid possession in the offensive zone led to a high-sticking double-minor drawn by Nino Niederreiter, and the Canes were gifted with a huge opportunity.
They took advantage.
A bar down snipe from Justin Williams off of a feed from Micheal Ferland gave the Hurricanes their first 5-on-3 goal of the season.
Then, on the ensuing 5-on-4, tic-tac-toe passing from Williams to Niederreiter to Teuvo Teravainen resulted in the go-ahead goal. Just like that, the Canes had as many power play goals on the evening as they had in the entire month up to that point.
It took less than nine minutes of play for the Canes to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead on the road.
The Canes kept pushing the tempo and creating chances, and a high-effort play from Ferland led to a fourth unanswered goal. He picked off a pass in the Ottawa zone, lunged out to get the puck to Teravainen, and the Finn netted his second goal of the period to increase the lead to 4-1.
There was some choppiness down the stretch, but not much came from it. The Hurricanes were able to lock it down and end their huge road trip with a big win.
The importance of Tuesday’s matchup was amplified by the results on the out-of-town scoreboard. Columbus and Buffalo both won, so it was imperative that Carolina did the same. And they did.
The five-game trip end with a 4-1-0 record for the Hurricanes, who didn’t let a tough loss in New Jersey on Sunday derail them. It wasn’t always pretty, but the results were what mattered and the Canes have to be pretty ecstatic about securing eight of ten points.
The team will come home and prepare for a back-to-back over the weekend on home ice. They’ll take on the Edmonton Oilers on Friday and the Dallas Stars on Saturday.