RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes ended their recent home stand with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks at PNC Arena on Friday.
Goaltender Justin Peters made 28 saves in winning his fourth game in his last five starts while forward Chris Terry scored the game-winning goal with a shot that beat Anaheim netminder Viktor Fasth high over his glove hand to give Carolina its first shootout victory of the season.
“It was an exciting one,” Peters said smiling.
“Finally get one for the boys in the shootout; mixed in one save, but the boys came up huge. Charlotte Checkers connection there tonight got a couple of goals for us.
As a recent call-up from the Hurricanes’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate club, Terry got his second chance to make his shot count during a shootout.
After scoring in the same situation against Minnesota last weekend, Terry’s efforts came up fruitless back then as the Wild scored on all three of their chances and won that shootout.
However, on this night Terry’s goal made the difference in earning Carolina the win against the Ducks.
“I just watched how far he came out when Nasher came in and Semin,” Terry said of watching previous shooters Riley Nash and Alexander Semin’s attempts on Fasth.
“I just tried to see laterally which way he was going to slide.”
Similar to other Western Conference opponents that the Hurricanes have faced this season, it took them the entire opening period of play to effectively work through the forecheck and neutral zone pressure that the Ducks presented them.
“They’re a good team, no question,” Jordan Staal said.
“It was just a really tight game throughout. There wasn’t really a whole lot of back-and-forth. It was a lot of battle and a lot of little chips. They made it difficult on us. We didn’t give ‘em much either, so it was a good battle and I’m glad we came out with two points.”
Even after losing to Tampa Bay the night before and dealing with its own share of injuries and sickness, Anaheim did not look weary and outshot Carolina 8-4 as both teams went to their dressing rooms scoreless after the first period.
As both team’s picked up their pace of play during the second, Anaheim’s Dustin Penner had a partial breakaway on Peters early on, but the combination of defensemen Justin Faulk and Ron Hainsey slowed him down and allowed Peters to make the save on the play.
It was one of many stops that the Hurricanes keeper had to make to keep his team in the game.
Throughout the period, Peters and Fasth both made outstanding saves to keep the game scoreless until the 18-minute mark when the Ducks took the first lead of the game.
As Faulk tried to complete a breakout pass from his zone, Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf intercepted the puck at the blue line and took a few strides before passing it to Corey Perry who then finished the play by beating Peters high with a shot that put the puck above his glove hand.
Trailing 1-0, the Hurricanes got a power play opportunity with 1:01 to play in the period – an opportunity that they took full advantage of.
Captain Eric Staal was credited with the goal that tied the score 1-1 with 16.8 seconds left on the clock, and came about as the result of some exceptional puck control from linemate Alexander Semin.
After getting the puck from defenseman Ryan Murphy at the point, Semin freestyled his way across the Ducks zone, moving untouched across the tops of circles from Fasth’s left to right before letting a high wrist shot go through traffic, glancing off Staal and into the top corner over Fasth’s left shoulder.
Starting the third period tied once again, the Ducks increased their efforts and Peters’ workload as he continued to make saves.
At the 3:01 mark, another former Checkers regular, Drayson Bowman put Carolina ahead 2-1.
Defensemen Andrej Sekera dumped a cross-ice pass off the boards from the neutral zone which Bowman chased along the side boards to Fasth’s left with former Hurricanes defenseman Bryan Allen in pursuit.
The young Hurricanes forward managed to outskate the veteran blue liner with possession of the puck and cut sharply from the corner along the goal line and towards the front of the crease before burying the puck into the net past the keeper’s right pad.
“It’s a process for some young guys in the NHL to learn and play the game the right way,” head coach Kirk Muller said of Bowman’s performance which included six shots on net.
“We’ve been pushin’ him and he’s been doin’ a great job…He’s just improving day by day and getting better as an NHLer.
Leading 2-1, the Hurricanes continued to play the Ducks tenaciously at even-strength, but a tripping penalty to Faulk provided the opportunity that Anaheim needed to tie the score once again.
With 12:42 remaining in the third, it was Penner who one-timed a shot on a cross-ice pass from Perry that beat Peters, even while breaking his stick on the play and tying the score at 2-2.
After both teams skated through the well-contested sudden-death overtime period still tied, it was Peters and Terry who provided what the Hurricanes needed to win the game – a save and a goal.
“The nice thing is that it’s been a nice complete effort and contribution from everybody in the lineup,” Muller said.
“From our defense, goaltending, forwards – four lines – all 20 guys helping out and contributing to these wins. They’re playing hard. They’re earning it. They’re playing against top teams here the last couple of nights and they came up on top and beat the best team in the league. Right now it has to be a really nice feeling for our players.”