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Power-play goals help Hurricanes edge Blues

Jan 3, 2009 - 5:09 AM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The Carolina Hurricanes used the man advantage and another stellar performance from Cam Ward to prolong their recent run of success at home.

Eric Staal and defenseman Anton Babchuk scored power-play goals and Ward stopped 30 shots to lead the Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday.

The Hurricanes posted their fifth win at the RBC Center in six tries and extended the Blues' road woes in the process.

Staal's team-leading 18th goal put Carolina ahead, 1-0, at 5:26 of the first period, but it was Babchuk's second tally in three games that proved to be the game-winner.

"They're playing hard, and they're big and physical and they rattle around on us, and our goalie stopped them and we won the game, and that's it," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

With Keith Tkachuk serving a two-minute minor for hooking, Babchuk hit the goalpost early on in the power play with a slap shot from the point. The Hurricanes regained possession and, after Chris Mason stopped another attempt, Babchuk picked up the loose puck and slipped it pass the sprawled goaltender with 8:55 left in the third for a 2-0 lead.

St. Louis, which has lost seven straight road games in regulation, pulled within one just 51 seconds later on a goal by David Backes.

"The toughest part is that we're right there," Backes said. "It's one-goal games. It's tie games, third-period leads that we've squandered. Somehow we're finding ways to give it to the other team. It's just not winning hockey the way we're playing. We've got to find a way to crack that."

Ward shut the door thereafter, making 15 saves in the final period for Carolina. He improved to 2-0-0 against the Blues this season and has allowed just one goal in each of his last two starts overall.

"They definitely came out there firing in that third period, but one of the things that I think our team has really improved on is, we're not panicking when things like that happen to us," Ward said. "Despite them having some opportunities, we didn't force anything. We didn't panic in any way or form."

Sergei Samsonov and Tuomo Ruutu each recorded a pair of assists for the Hurricanes, who missed out on a golden opportunity with the power play midway into the second.

Blues rookie defenseman Tyson Strachan was given a five-minute major and game misconduct for hitting Ray Whitney from behind, sending the Carolina left wing crashing into the boards face-first.

Captain Rod Brind'Amour was issued a minor penalty for holding the stick to negate two minutes of the advantage and Mason, who made 26 saves overall, was able to keep Carolina off the board.

"The power play can win you games, and tonight we capitalized on our two chances, got the two goals, and in the third, we sat back a little bit too much," Staal said. "We've got to play with that confidence and that swagger and get it down there, but we'll keep working at it."

The Hurricanes held a brief 5-on-3 advantage after a slashing penalty was issued to Blues defenseman Jeff Woywitka with 99 seconds remaining on the major penalty but failed to convert.

"They got two power-play goals and we lose the hockey game by a goal," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. "The last one was a funny bounce. We've got to get better in all phases of our game. We had some great opportunities in the third period. I thought the ice was tilted in our favor. We had chance after chance, and Cam Ward made the saves for them. Chris Mason was good for us tonight, too."

Blue-liner Carlo Colaiacovo left the game in the first period with an undisclosed injury, leaving St. Louis with just four defensemen for nearly half the game.

"I have to commend our defensemen and how hard they played," Murray said. "They competed."






  • 20
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Blues 1, Hurricanes 2  FinalJan 3 5:53 AM
  • 10
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Blues 1, Hurricanes 2  FinalJan 3 4:00 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 1 1
    CAROLINA 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) ERIC STAAL 18 (TUOMO RUUTU, SERGEI SAMSONOV) 5:26
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) ANTON BABCHUK 3 (TUOMO RUUTU, SERGEI SAMSONOV)
    10:05
    STL - DAVID BACKES 12 (BARRET JACKMAN, T.J. OSHIE) 11:56
    POWER-PLAY

    Jan 2 9:27 PM
  • 5
    roots
    thefanblog Added 5 roots

    Blues 1, Hurricanes 2  3rd - 4:30Jan 2 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    CAROLINA 2
    3RD PRD: STL - DAVID BACKES 12 (BARRET JACKMAN) 11:56

    Blues 1, Hurricanes 2  3rd - 8:04Jan 2 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    CAROLINA 2
    3RD PRD: CAR - (PP) ANTON BABCHUK 3 (TUOMO RUUTU, SERGEI SAMSONOV)
    10:05

    Blues 0, Hurricanes 2  3rd - 9:55Jan 2 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0
    CAROLINA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) ERIC STAAL 18 (TUOMO RUUTU, SERGEI SAMSONOV) 5:26
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 7 8 15
    CAR 9 11 20
    GOALIES: STL

    Jan 2 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0
    CAROLINA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) ERIC STAAL 18 (TUOMO RUUTU, SERGEI SAMSONOV) 5:26
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 7 7
    CAR 9 9
    GOALIES: STL - CHRIS MASON


    Jan 2 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    CAROLINA 1
    1ST PRD: CAR - (PP) ERIC STAAL 18 (TUOMO RUUTU, SERGEI SAMSONOV) 5:26

    Blues 0, Hurricanes 1  1st - 14:34Jan 2 7:17 PM