DENVER, COLO. – The Carolina Hurricanes earned a hard-fought 1-0 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday.
Victor Rask’s second goal of the season was the difference-maker in overtime, and secured goaltender Cam Ward’s franchise-leading 23rd career shutout, the result of a 26-save effort.
“I thought it was a good game – I thought both teams played well,” Carolina head coach Bill Peters said.
“I thought the penalty kill was huge in the first, we ended up taking four penalties. We got through that and ended up playin’ well from that point on – a couple of key saves down the stretch by Wardo.”
Following a 4-1 loss to Washington last Saturday, traveling to the higher altitude didn’t seem to have any negative effect on this year’s version of the Hurricanes (2-4) as they beat the Avalanche (2-3-1) on their home ice for the first time in franchise history since relocating to North Carolina.
Both teams had ample man-advantage opportunities – Carolina with five and Colorado with four – but neither could beat Ward or Avalanche keeper Semyon Varlamov.
Ward in particular managed to outlast Varlamov whose 18 saves stymied Carolina’s shooters until Rask’s toe-to-backhand deke beat him clean at 1:49 into the 3-on-3 overtime.
The Carolina keeper’s highlight-reel paddle save on Matt Duchene’s shot towards what was an open net off the left side with just under four minutes to play kept the visitors’ hopes alive, and eventually helped extend play into the extra frame.
A pad save on Avalanche forward Jarome Iginla’s breakaway attempt early in overtime kept play moving and eventually transitioned to set up Rask’s game-winner.
“Big save at the key moment of the game, and then even in overtime on Iginla,” Peters continued.
“Good play by Victor taking it hard to the net.”
Carolina continues its current road trip farther West, traveling to face off against the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on Friday and Saturday respectively.