Wild edges Canes in overtime

Carolina still winless on road

Staff WriterOctober 25, 2009 

Hurricanes Wild Hockey

Minnesota Wild's Cal Clutterbuck, right, sweeps a shot from ice level past Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Niclas Wallin (7) to score the winning goal in overtime as the Wild beat the Hurricanes 3-2 in St. Paul, Minn.

JIM MONE — AP photo by Jim Mone

  • Saturday night's game between the Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild did not end in time for this edition of The News & Observer.

— The Carolina Hurricanes spent most of Saturday morning fretting over the three-game suspension handed forward Tuomo Ruutu by the NHL.

As for Saturday night, it was just as exasperating.

Cal Clutterbuck's goal with 3:05 left in overtime gave the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 victory at the Xcel Energy Center. Clutterbuck was sprawled on the ice in the slot but reached out his stick to knock the puck past Cam Ward for his first goal of the season and keep the Hurricanes winless on the road this season.

The Canes appeared victory-bound with three minutes left in the third on a rush into the Wild zone. Matt Cullen flipped a backhander at what looked to be an open net, only to have goaltender Niklas Backstrom make the stop.

With 1:39 left in the third, defenseman Joni Pitkanen was called for roughing Clutterbuck on a big hit along the boards. But Backstrom again had to save the Wild, stoning Eric Staal on a short-handed breakaway with 46 seconds to play.

In the second period, Backstrom denied the Canes' Rod Brind'Amour on a breakaway and later did the same on a Scott Walker shot at even strength.

This was the game matching two early-season strugglers. The Wild was 2-7 under first-year coach Todd Richards, with all seven losses on the road. The Canes were a disappointing 2-5-2, with an 0-4-1 road record.

Both teams had tough losses Friday night -- Carolina at Colorado, Minnesota at St. Louis -- and both talked of early-season frustration.

"It's frustrating," Cullen said. "We battled hard to get a point, but now we've got to find a way to get another one."

Cullen and the rest of the Canes were miffed by a number of the penalty calls against them. The Canes committed 10 penalties, and the Wild had seven power plays.

"We did some good things, but the penalties hurt us again," Cullen said. "We spent way too much time in the penalty box.

"It was hard to get any momentum. They had the puck the the whole time."

Canes coach Paul Maurice was not happy, either.

"I was not pleased with the slant of the way that game went in terms of the calls that were made," he said.

Maurice said Backstrom was the difference and noted Ward was "pretty good, too."

The Hurricanes learned early in the day that Ruutu would be out three games for his hit on the Avalanche's Darcy Tucker that sent Tucker to the hospital with a concussion. The Canes called up Brandon Sutter from the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League as a replacement, and Sutter centered the third line.

Both teams scored on the power play in the first period, with Sergei Samsonov's first goal of the season giving the Canes a 1-0 lead and Andrew Burnette answering later on a 4-on-3 power play for the veteran's sixth goal of the season.

Kyle Brodziak's goal early in the second period pushed the Wild ahead 2-1, but the Hurricanes bounced back on Pitkanen's first goal of the season.

Pitkanen first forced a turnover by Antti Miettinen, then led the odd-man rush. He passed to Ray Whitney on the right wing, and Whitney fed Pitkanen perfectly for the goal at 7:35 of the second.

Whitney also assisted on Samsonov's goal in the first with a crisp feed across the crease to Samsonov on the backdoor. The well-executed power play began with Eric Staal making a sharp point-to-point pass to Pitkanen, who quickly passed to Whitney to the left of the goal.

Both teams had near-scores late in the second. The Canes' Chad LaRose clipped the crossbar with a shot, the puck dropping near the goal line before being cleared, and Burnette zinged a shot off the post in the final seconds with the Wild on the power play.

The Wild's first-period power-play score came on a low, short-side shot by Burnette that beat Ward at the post. Brodziak skated in unchecked on Ward, dragging the puck across the top of the crease and flipping in a short backhander.

Both teams were cautious in the third, as if not wanting to make the big mistake. The Canes killed off the last 1:25 of a penalty to begin the period, and Backstrom made a sprawling save on a hard Staal shot with 12:41 left to keep it tied.

Ward also had to make a handful of hustling saves in the Carolina end as both goaltenders dug in.

The Canes' Tim Conboy and John Scott of the Wild had the fans on their feet in the first when they dropped the gloves. Scott, at 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, towered over Conboy and got in the best blows, but Conboy gamely stood his ground.

Wild 3, Hurricanes 2 (OT)

Carolina

1

1

0

0

--

2

Minnesota

1

1

0

1

--

3

First--1, Carolina, Samsonov 1 (Whitney, Pitkanen), 10:32 (pp). 2, Minnesota, Brunette 6 (Hnidy, Burns), 12:52 (pp). Penalties--Pitkanen, Car (elbowing), 3:59; Whitney, Car (hooking), 7:11; Hnidy, Min (holding stick), 9:27; Conboy, Car (roughing), 11:32; Scott, Min (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:32; A.Ward, Car (high-sticking), 12:22; Conboy, Car, major (fighting), 13:36; Scott, Min, major (fighting), 13:36.

Second--3, Minnesota, Brodziak 1 (Nolan, Burns), 1:51. 4, Carolina, Pitkanen 1 (Whitney), 7:35. Penalties--Yelle, Car (hooking), 4:21; Sykora, Min (hooking), 9:48; Belanger, Min (holding), 13:32; Brind'Amour, Car (tripping), 15:00; Harrison, Car (hooking), 19:24.

Third--None. Penalties--A.Ward, Car (hooking), 2:58; Sykora, Min (high-sticking), 2:58; Pitkanen, Car (roughing), 18:21.

Overtime--5, Minnesota, Clutterbuck 1 (Zanon, Koivu), 1:55. Shots on Goal--Carolina 9-3-10-1--23. Minnesota 9-7-10-3--29. Power-play opportunities--Carolina 1 of 3; Minnesota 1 of 7. Goalies--Carolina, C.Ward 2-5-3 (29 shots-26 saves). Minnesota, Backstrom 3-5-0 (23-21). Att.--18,145. T--2:29.

CAROLINA HURRICANES

G

A

+/-

SG

PIM

TOI

Ward

0

0

0

0

4

20:20

Wallin

0

0

-1

1

0

20:48

Cullen

0

0

+1

3

0

17:40

Staal

0

0

+1

5

0

24:40

Whitney

0

2

+1

1

2

19:06

Samsonov

1

0

-2

1

0

17:14

Sutter

0

0

-1

1

0

12:13

Brind'Amour

0

0

0

3

2

22:45

Yelle

0

0

0

0

2

2:19

Walker

0

0

0

3

0

12:54

Pitkanen

1

1

+1

3

4

26:47

Kostopoulos

0

0

0

0

0

6:17

Jokinen

0

0

-2

0

0

16:24

Conboy

0

0

0

0

7

1:01

Alberts

0

0

-1

0

0

16:09

Harrison

0

0

-1

2

2

10:21

LaRose

0

0

0

0

0

17:50

Corvo

0

0

0

0

0

26:22

GOALTENDING

SH

GA

SV

SV%

TOI

Ward

29

3

26

.897

61:55

MINNESOTA WILD

G

A

+/-

SG

PIM

TOI

Zidlicky

0

0

0

7

0

27:02

Zanon

0

1

0

0

0

24:13

Burns

0

2

+1

3

0

24:31

Koivu

0

1

0

4

0

24:13

Nolan

0

1

+1

0

0

15:03

Kobasew

0

0

+1

1

0

13:23

Havlat

0

0

0

2

0

19:25

Brunette

1

0

-1

2

0

19:05

Sykora

0

0

0

0

4

12:54

Hilbert

0

0

0

0

0

3:08

Miettinen

0

0

-1

2

0

17:12

Brodziak

1

0

+1

1

0

16:02

Clutterbuck

1

0

+1

2

0

11:53

Belanger

0

0

0

1

2

16:51

Smith

0

0

0

0

0

5:50

Hnidy

0

1

0

1

2

15:27

Scott

0

0

0

1

7

11:52

Schultz

0

0

+1

2

0

20:49

GOALTENDING

SH

GA

SV

SV%

TOI

Backstrom

23

2

21

.913

61:37

chip.alexander@newsobserver.com or 919-829-8945

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