for this game

Samsonov, Staal keep Hurricanes rolling at home

Mar 2, 2008 - 4:35 AM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Sergei Samsonov continues to prove he has the talent to be a star in the NHL.

Samsonov recorded his second two-goal performance in three games and Eric Staal added a tally and two assists as the Carolina Hurricanes concluded their successful six-game homestand Saturday with a 5-1 triumph over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Tuomo Ruutu scored his first goal as a Hurricane and defenseman Joe Corvo also tallied for Carolina, which went 4-1-1 on its homestand and improved to 8-1-1 in its last 10 at the RBC Center.

"We needed to string together a bunch of wins, and after the Rangers game (on Thursday), we needed to respond with a big win," Staal said. "Everybody really came up big. This needs to continue for the rest of the month."

"You look at the standings every morning and know there are no bye games," Samsonov said. "Every game is important."

Jeff Halpern netted the lone goal for the Lightning, who fell to 1-5-1 in their last seven contests.

"Right now, it's tough," Tampa Bay All-Star Martin St. Louis said. "We just can't cheat and expect it's going to come. We've got to make sure we pay attention to the other side of the game. We just can't concentrate on the offensive side."

The Calder Trophy winner in 1998, Samsonov began his NHL career in fine fashion, scoring at least 22 goals in five of his first six seasons after being drafted eighth overall by Boston in 1997. However, the 29-year-old Russian had been in a downward spiral since 2002-03, with injuries and ineffectiveness limiting his playing time.

Samsonov began this season with Chicago, where he recorded just four assists in 23 games before being claimed off waivers by Carolina on January 8. Playing for his fifth team in three campaigns, the talented left wing has made the most of the chance.

"He was awfully good back then (with Boston)," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "I'm not saying he's not good now. We were just talking about it. He's been everything we hoped for, defensively and offensively - a professional with his new teammates. He's been up to billing. ... You could see some of that dynamic puck movement, dynamic skating and quickness to his game."

"With the system we play, it's pretty easy for guys to come in and be comfortable," Staal said. "You know you're going to have to skate and move your feet and attack, attack, attack."

Entering with nine goals and nine assists in his first 23 games with the Hurricanes, Samsonov gave the team a 3-1 lead in this one midway through the second period with a power-play goal. He took advantage of a screen set by Ruutu and fired a shot from the left faceoff circle past goaltender Mike Smith at 10:01 for his 10th of the season.

"We didn't seem to get back to the sustained offense after that," Halpern said. "Vinny (Lecavalier) and Marty need to be out there as much as we can 5-on-5 and on the power play. When we're killing (penalties), it doesn't give them a chance to do that."

Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella was upset with the fact his team was called for four penalties in the middle period.

"I thought it took us right out of the game," he said. "Anytime you take penalties, you take players out of the game that don't kill. Players that do kill expend a lot of energy trying to go in and defend. We use our top players when we kill, and I think it takes a toll."

Just 4:02 into the third, Samsonov increased the advantage, burying a loose puck from the doorstep. He also scored twice in a 2-1 overtime victory over New Jersey on Tuesday.

Halpern opened the scoring at 7:04 of the first period with his second goal in three games with Tampa Bay after being acquired from Dallas at Tuesday's trade deadline. But that was the extent of the Lightning's offense as the Hurricanes netted the next five goals en route to victory.

Staal began the onslaught at 10:43 of the first, when his backhander off a rebound deflected off the stick of Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle and past goaltender Mike Smith for his 31st goal of the season.

"The starts have been a little bit slow, and it was still a little bit slow again tonight," Laviolette said. "We sent the big guys out there and they made a couple of big hits. And from that point on, I felt we really took charge of the game."

Corvo put Carolina ahead for good 62 seconds into the middle period with a slap shot from the top of the slot that beat Smith high to the stick side.

"I had been using an 85-100 flex (stick) and I switched to 110 today to feel a little more solid, get a little bit more snap on it," Corvo said. "That shot was pretty hard."

A former teammate of Samsonov in Chicago who was acquired at Tuesday's deadline, Ruutu capped the scoring exactly six minutes into the third, when he converted a feed from Staal on a short 2-on-1 rush for his seventh of the season.

Ruutu was on Staal's line in place of Ray Whitney, who is sidelined with a leg injury.

"I only had one practice with those guys," the Finn said.

"He stepped in real nice, made some great plays along the wall," Staal said of Ruutu. "He finished off that goal very nicely and he was physical. It's always nice to have somebody jump in there when a great player like Whit goes out, and he did a great job, banging their D and making them second-guess themselves when they went back for the puck. He played a great game."

Cam Ward made 22 saves for the Hurricanes, who have had a two-goal scorer in each of their last four games.

Smith turned aside 28 shots for Tampa Bay, which fell to 3-3-0 in the season series with Carolina.

Tortorella failed in his bid to become the winningest American-born coach in NHL history. He remained tied with Bob Johnson with 234 career wins.






  • 10
    roots
    Magnus Added 5 roots

    Lightning 1, Hurricanes 5  FinalMar 2 3:17 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 1
    CAROLINA 1 2 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - JEFF HALPERN 12 (MICHEL OUELLET, MATHIEU DARCHE) 7:04
    CAR - ERIC STAAL 31 (TUOMO RUUTU, TIM GLEASON) 10:43
    2ND PRD: CAR - JOE CORVO 8 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, ERIC STAAL) 1:02
    CAR - (PP) SERGEI SAMSONOV 10 (FRANTISEK K

    Mar 1 9:28 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    CAROLINA 5
    3RD PRD: CAR - TUOMO RUUTU 7 (ERIC STAAL, ERIK COLE) 6:00

    Lightning 1, Hurricanes 5  3rd - 14:00Mar 1 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    CAROLINA 4
    3RD PRD: CAR - SERGEI SAMSONOV 11 (PATRICK EAVES, MATT CULLEN) 4:02

    Lightning 1, Hurricanes 4  3rd - 15:58Mar 1 9:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 1
    CAROLINA 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 11 (MATHIEU DARCHE, JEFF HALPERN) 7:04
    CAR - ERIC STAAL 31 (TUOMO RUUTU, ERIK COLE) 10:43
    2ND PRD: CAR - JOE CORVO 8 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, ERIC STAAL) 1:02
    CAR - (PP) SERGEI SAMSONOV 10 (

    Mar 1 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    CAROLINA 3
    2ND PRD: CAR - (PP) SERGEI SAMSONOV 10 (FRANTISEK KABERLE, SCOTT
    WALKER) 10:01

    Lightning 1, Hurricanes 3  2nd - 9:59Mar 1 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    CAROLINA 2
    2ND PRD: CAR - JOE CORVO 8 (SERGEI SAMSONOV, ERIC STAAL) 1:02

    Lightning 1, Hurricanes 2  2nd - 18:58Mar 1 8:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 1 1
    CAROLINA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 11 (MATHIEU DARCHE, JEFF HALPERN) 7:04
    CAR - ERIC STAAL 31 (TUOMO RUUTU, ERIK COLE) 10:43
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TAM 10 10
    CAR

    Mar 1 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    CAROLINA 1
    1ST PRD: CAR - ERIC STAAL 31 (TUOMO RUUTU, ERIK COLE) 10:43

    Lightning 1, Hurricanes 1  1st - 9:17Mar 1 7:29 PM


  • NHL
    TAMPA BAY 1
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 11 (MATHIEU DARCHE, JEFF HALPERN) 7:04

    Lightning 1, Hurricanes 0  1st - 12:56Mar 1 7:22 PM
  • millsythekiwi As much as I dislike Tortorella, I hate Laviolette more...GO LIGHTNING!

    Lightning vs. HurricanesMar 1 4:45 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Lightning vs. HurricanesFeb 22 4:23 PM