NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at Carolina
(Thursday, March 6th)
Final Score: Carolina 3, Minnesota 2
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Matt Cullen recorded a goal and an assist and Cam Ward stopped 26 shots as the Carolina Hurricanes held off the Minnesota Wild, 3-2, at RBC Center.
Scott Walker and Erik Cole also tallied and Jonathan Corvo added a pair of assists for Carolina, which maintained its Southeast Division lead with a third consecutive victory - and its sixth in seven contests.
"It was a good test for Cam," said Hurricanes head coach Peter Laviolette. "He's played a lot of games now and it was a back-to-back. It wasn't a tremendous amount of work in Atlanta last night but he did have to make some big saves in that third period. In his own back end, he had to make a lot of big saves for us. I thought he played a sharp game. There wasn't a lot he could do on the goals."
Pavol Demitra and Mikko Koivu scored for the Wild, while Josh Harding made 25 saves, but Minnesota dug itself an early two-goal hole and was forced to play from behind the rest of the way.
The Wild also failed to capitalize on any of their six power-play chances, and dropped their second straight, whiffing on a chance to gain ground on Northwest Division co-leader Calgary.
"Power play wasn't good today," Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire said. "It hasn't been good the last two or three games as a matter of fact. We tried everyone and at a time I got tired to try the same guys all the time, so I put in the checkers and they did exactly the same thing. They stayed in the other zone with no goal."
Cullen redirected Corvo's shot from the right slot past Harding for an early 1-0 Hurricanes lead. Less than two minutes later, Walker slipped one through during a 4-on-4 to make it a two-goal game with 5:51 remaining in the period.
Demitra cut the 'Canes lead in half just past the 18-minute mark when he took a beautiful feed from Pierre-Marc Bouchard just below the circle and fired a wrister past Ward's glove side.
Koivu brought the Wild even just 19 seconds into the second period off an assist from Aaron Voros, but Cole reclaimed the lead for Carolina at 9:41 with a power-play tally when he tipped home Cullen's blast.
Ward then held off two separate Wild power plays in the period's final eight minutes to send the 'Canes into the second intermission still holding a one- goal lead.
Carolina blew a 4-on-3 opportunity during the middle stages of the final period, but Ward made a number of key saves in continuing to hold Minnesota in check through the next 10-plus minutes.
Minnesota did get itself one more man-advantage down the stretch after Corvo was called for holding at the 16:48 mark. The Hurricanes penalty-kill unit was solid once more, and Carolina put the game away after Voros was called for hooking with less than a minute to go, controlling the puck while a man up.
Carolina activated defenseman Dennis Seidenberg from injured reserve prior to the game...Minnesota's Demitra extended his point streak to five games...Prior to Thursday, Minnesota had not scored a goal at Carolina in two games; it was the Wild's first visit since March 7, 2003...Carolina has earned points in 10 of its last 11 home games...Carolina's Glen Wesley moved into a tie for sixth place on the all-time list for games played by a defenseman (1,446)...Ward made his eighth straight start...Corvo has 9 points in 11 games since joining Carolina.
03/06 23:42:03 ET