Canes let win slip by

Blues' D'Agostini wins it in OT

calexander@newsobserver.comOctober 22, 2011 

— In a city caught in the grips of World Series fever, a hockey game between the Carolina Hurricanes and St. Louis Blues didn't capture a lot of attention.

It's all about baseball and the Cardinals trying to beat the Texas Rangers, and the first two games of the Series were held at Busch Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday.

But the Big Show had left town by Friday, allowing the Canes and Blues to go at it at Scottrade Center. Go at it they did, for 60 minutes and then into overtime before the Blues won 3-2 on Matt D'Agostini's goal with 1:02 left in OT.

The Hurricanes had a power play early in overtime after Blues defenseman Barret Jackman hooked Jussi Jokinen as Jokinen drove the net. Jeff Skinner twice got off shots but goalie Brian Elliott made the stops.

"It's tough," said Skinner, who had six of the Canes' shots. "(Elliott) played a pretty good game. You want to stick with it and I thought we played a pretty gritty game on the road."

Vladimir Sobotka won a draw from Brandon Sutter in Canes defensive zone and D'Agostini redirected a centering pass past Cam Ward for the winner, ending the Canes' three-game win streak.

Sutter had a goal and assist as the Hurricanes jumped ahead 2-0. Defenseman Jay Harrison scored on a slapshot from the point in the first period, and Sutter converted a hustling breakaway early in the second, easily beating Elliott.

But the Blues, who were steadily building steam, began to apply offensive-zone pressure and get bodies in front of Ward. Elliott was steady in net and it would be the veterans who led the Blues back.

Jason Arnott scored on the rebound of a Jamie Langenbrunner shot after Ward made a good stop. David Backes then tied it 2-2 after his shot went off the ankle of Canes defenseman Bryan Allen.

The Canes, who end their road trip tonight in Winnipeg, had offensive chances midway through the third. Tuomo Ruutu had a good look and Eric Staal had a shot on the doorstep denied by Elliott.

"I wouldn't say we were that bad," Sutter said. "But it's tough to have a 2-0 lead and give it up and lose in that fashion."

After bruising road games against the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins, the Canes expected another physical test from the Blues, who were coming off losses to the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings. There were none of the nastiness of the Bruins game, but the Blues did finish their checks and outhit the Hurricanes for the most part.

"We looked a little bit like the road team, I thought tonight," Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice said. "They threw a lot at our net. It wasn't our best but we'll take the point and go."

While the Canes have shown improvement in the faceoff circle this season, the Blues ruled the draws Friday as Vladimir Sobotka and Patrik Berglund had big nights.

Harrison scored on a shot that Elliott could not track with Sutter screening him. Taking a pass from Jiri Tlusty, Harrison unloaded a heavy shot.

Harrison scored on a similar shot against the Sabres last week but the goal was credited a day later to forward Alexei Ponikarovsky.

The Canes nearly scored again late in the first on a power play after D'Agostini was called for holding with 1:45 left in the period. Ponikarovsky and Staal each caught the post with a tip.

One storyline in Friday's game was the duel of the brothers, Anthony Stewart of the Canes and Chris Stewart of the Blues.

It was the first time the two had been in an NHL game together, causing some give-and-take ribbing between the two before the game.

"It's going to be one of those things you remember in your career," Chris Stewart said Friday morning. "But once the puck drops he's just another player in the opposite jersey."

Anthony Stewart nearly scored with seven minutes left in the first, getting a quick tip in front that Elliott smothered.

Alexander: 919-829-8945

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