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LaRose scores twice, Hurricanes top Senators

Mar 23, 2011 - 3:00 AM
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Chad LaRose scored a pair of goals as Carolina came from behind to defeat the Ottawa Senators, 4-3, to keep its playoff hopes alive.

Tuomo Ruutu and Cory Stillman also tallied for the Hurricanes, who moved to 78 points and remain three points behind the Buffalo Sabres (81) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Sabres also won on Tuesday, defeating the Canadiens, 2-0.

Cam Ward was solid between the pipes, stopping 36 shots for Carolina.

Marek Svatos, Colin Greening and Erik Karlsson each lit the lamp for the Senators, who had a two-game winning streak halted. Curtis McElhinney surrendered all four goals on 24 shots.

"Overall, I thought we played a pretty good game," McElhinney said. "Ward played great and they capitalized on some of the chances in the second and third periods."

After more than 18 minutes of scoreless second period action, Carolina broke a 2-2 tie. LaRose lead a 3-on-2 charge, skating into the slot and sweeping a wrist shot past McElhinney to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the game.

Carolina found the much-needed insurance goal six minutes into the third thanks to a slick give-and-go. Erik Cole started the play with an offensive- zone steal and then gave it to Stillman across the ice. Stillman then centered it to Eric Staal, who gave it right back for a one-timer to make it a 4-2 game.

Ottawa trimmed it to a one-point game with 5:44 left on Karlsson's tap-in from in tight. However, the Hurricanes held onto the lead behind the play of Ward, who made nine saves in the third.

The Senators jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period, but Carolina charged back with some late offense in the opening 20 minutes.

"I don't think we were playing great hockey at the start," LaRose said. "Once we got one, we settled down a little bit."

Greening's third goal of the season put the Sens on the board nearing the eight-minute mark. He trailed Jason Spezza's breakaway shot, which was blocked by Ward, and jammed it into the open net.

The action picked up late in the period, which had three goals in 52 seconds.

A big rebound put the Sens up 2-0 at the 13:40 mark. The goal was set up by an offensive zone win and Erik Condra sent a shot from the high slot. Again, Ward blocked the original shot, but Svatos was there to put in the rebound.

Then the Hurricanes found some much needed offensive spark 27 ticks later when Ruutu's deflection fluttered past McElhinney.

The home team continued to build off the momentum, knotting it at two goals apiece with 5:28 left in the first. This time in was LaRose's wrister from the lower portion of the left circle that found the back of the net.

Game Notes

Carolina is 28-3-4 when scoring at least three goals in a game this season...The Senators are 14-18-4 as the visiting club this season...Ottawa signed goaltender Craig Anderson, who did not play because of a lower body injury, to a four-year contract extension on Monday. The deal, which is reportedly worth a total of $12.75 million, should keep the goaltender with the franchise through the 2014-15 season. Anderson arrived in Canada's capital from the Colorado Avalanche on February 18 in exchange for fellow netminder Brian Elliott, and has gone 6-4-0 with a 2.11 goals-against average and one shutout in 11 appearances...Neither teams scored on the power play. The Hurricanes were 0-for-3 while the Sens were 0-for-4.