NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Ottawa
(Thursday, October 11th)
Final Score: Carolina 5, Ottawa 3
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Erik Cole scored a pair of goals and Chad Larose assisted three times as the Carolina Hurricanes opened an early lead and then held off a late rally in handing the Ottawa Senators their first loss of the season, 5-3, at Scotiabank Place.
Matt Cullen and Rod Brind'Amour also scored for Carolina, and Eric Staal had two assists and put the game away with an empty-net goal. Goaltender Cam Ward saved 27-of-30 shots in the victory for the Hurricanes, who were coming off Tuesday's lopsided 7-1 victory in Toronto.
"Every time you get a win against a good team, especially one like Ottawa, it's satisfying," said Brind'Amour. "I don't know if it was a good game on our part, but our goaltending was exceptional. We'll take the wins any way we can get them."
Dany Heatley had a goal and an assist, while Mike Fisher and Joe Corvo scored for the Senators. Jason Spezza also had two helpers and Martin Gerber saved 27-of-31 shots in defeat.
"Tonight was one of those nights when the rebounds seem to cost you goals," said Gerber. "It doesn't happen like that every night, but tonight there were some bounces their way and they took advantage of them."
With the loss, Ottawa failed to match a franchise record for the best start to a season. The Senators won six in a row to kick off the 2005-06 campaign.
Carolina took a 1-0 lead on Cole's power-play goal off a rebound late in the first period. Cole dug a loose puck out from along the boards, then glided in to put back a miss after passing off the puck at the point. The goal was the first on the man-advantage allowed by the Sens this season.
Cullen then gave the Hurricanes a two-goal lead just 1:10 into the second when he deflected a rebound into the net after Gerber saved a Larose shot from the left point.
Heatley then responded with a tally just over three minutes later, his fifth of the season, when he lifted the puck over Ward's left shoulder to cut it to 2-1.
At 6:23, Larose skated in from the right side and attempted a backhander. Gerber saved the initial shot, but Brind'Amour was waiting for the rebound and pushed it through the five-hole for a 3-1 Carolina advantage.
"It was a garbage goal for me, but it was a great play," said Brind'Amour. "Justin Williams made a nice pass through the neutral zone to Chad Larose. Their defense took me out of the play and gave room for Larose. The rebound came to me and I just tapped it in."
Cole notched his second goal of the game, a wrist shot off a pass from Larose at 6:35 of the third.
But Ottawa then responded with a pair of late goals to awaken the crowd down the stretch and make things difficult for Ward and the Hurricanes. Fisher tipped in a rebound following a shot by Antoine Vermette with just under four minutes remaining, and Corvo ripped a slap shot past Ward from the right point with 1:51 to play.
Carolina iced the game, though, when Cory Stillman forced a turnover and fired an indirect pass off the board for Staal, who outraced a pair of Ottawa defenders toward an open net, where he finished for the 5-3 count.
The loss was the first in regulation for Gerber in his last 17 games (14-1-2)...Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson went scoreless, ending a five-game point streak...Spezza has 10 assists on the season, and has recorded at least one in each of Ottawa's six games this season...Carolina won for just the fourth time in regulation against Ottawa since 2001-02 (21 games)...Staal played in his 250th career game and Cole his 350th...Prior to the game, Ottawa goalie Ray Emery was sent to the minors for a two-game conditioning assignment; Emery has not played yet this season because of a wrist injury.
10/11 23:42:57 ET