'Canes Rally to Beat Habs in OT
It might be a little early still in the season for a team to have a must win game. With Carolina trying to stay within reach of a playoff spot in a jumbled Metropolitan division, that is what this game felt like for the team. Going 0-3-2 in their last 5, Carolina was desperate for the 2 point win. That desperation was nowhere to be found in the first 40 minutes of the New Years Eve game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Lars Eller opened the scoring for Montreal 1:20 into the first and Max Pacioretty netted the next two to ride a 3 goal lead into the second intermission. Carolina was not without their chances to keep the game close early. They out-shot Montreal 25 -16 and was o for 8 on the power play. Offensive woes have plagued this team all season. Coming into tonights game the Hurricanes stood last in the league in points scored.
With all of the chances put on Habs goalie, Carey Price, it felt like if the Hurricanes could get the first one to go in the flood gates might open. With Montreal continuing to keep the penalty box seat warm that is what happened 1:38 into the third. With Andrei Markov in the box for hooking and Brendan Gallagher serving time for the bench abusing the officials, Jeff Skinner scored on the 5 on 3 and then again less than a minute later when he made a nice move in the left circle and beat Price stick side high. Eric Staal cleaned up a loose puck in front of the Montreal to complete the come back in a span of 2:29. Manny Malhotra put the 'Canes up for the first time at the 8:16 mark but Montreal answered back two minutes later when PK Subban blasted a shot from the blue line. With momentum on the Carolina side a boarding call and and unsportsmanlike conduct call on captain Eric Staal gave Montreal the man advantage for the remainder of regulation and into overtime if they could get it there. The double minor was killed and with a minute left Alexander Semin closed it out with a snap shot past Price.
Keywords: Carolina, Carolina Hurricanes, Eric Staal, Hurricanes, Inside Hockey, Jeff Skinner, Montreal Canadiens, NHL
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