Gerbe scores as Hurricanes top Senators, 3-2

OTTAWA, ONTARIO – The Carolina Hurricanes continued their productive play in January and beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on a Nathan Gerbe snap shot late in the third period at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

Gerbe scored his fourth goal of the season and added an assist while ending a 22-game scoring drought that dated back to Nov. 28 when he scored the game-winner in a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Following up on a 3-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at home the night before, the Hurricanes seemed to feed off the jolt that the crisper, colder Canadian air provided them.

Brad Malone, Justin Faulk, and Gerbe all paced the Hurricanes offense in a toe-to-toe battle with the Senators.

Goaltender Anton Khudobin made 30 saves to earn his fourth straight win of the season while the Sens’ Craig Anderson made 25 saves in accepting the loss.

“Four straight wins are a byproduct of finally scoring in front of him,” Peters said of Khudobin’s play.

“We don’t score a whole bunch when he plays. He was good early (in the season), we didn’t score many goals. His numbers have been good all year, and finally it’s startin’ to balance out a little bit.”

After Malone scored his second of the season with 32 seconds remaining in the first period, Ottawa (18-18-8) answered back with successive goals later in the second and early in the third to lead 2-1.

A point shot from Faulk went off a few bodies before spinning and curling into the net to even the score at two apiece with 16:39 remaining.

Gerbe’s winning goal came with 5:41 to play as his quick release made it past bodies in front of Anderson and over his stick-side shoulder.

The win gave Carolina (15-25-5) another win in January, extending its current run to the NHL All-Star break to 5-2-1.

“It was a good effort,” Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters said.

“I thought everybody played good valuable minutes and found a way.”

Notes: Both teams finished 0-for-3 on the power play…Carolina was outhit 30-24 and finished below even over the faceoff dot (22-28, 44%)…Faulk, the Hurricanes’ All-Star representative, finished with a goal and an assist as well as a team-high plus-3 rating, making up for a team-high minus-3 finish in the shutout loss to Vancouver the night before…Getting on the score sheet helped Gerbe as well, finishing with a plus-2 to even out a minus-2 performance against the Canucks…Faulk and Senators captain and defenseman Erik Karlsson each fired six shots on goal.

Boxscore: Carolina 3, Ottawa 2