Canes fall short in fight-riddled game with Sens

calexander@newsobserver.comApril 16, 2013 

— The Carolina Hurricanes lost another hockey game Tuesday.

The Canes lost forward Jeff Skinner, possibly to another concussion.

They may have lost a fight or two on the ice.

For the Hurricanes, not much good came from the game against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place as the Sens won 3-2.

The Canes (17-23-2) were hoping to build on a their 4-2 win Saturday against the Boston Bruins that ended a seven-game losing streak. But the Sens' Craig Anderson was too good in net and the Sens too good on home ice, where they are 14-3-3 this season.

Mika Zibanejad scored in the first period, and Milan Michalek and Chris Neil in the second for the Sens (22-14-6), who never trailed.

Defensman Justin Faulk scored for the Canes in the second period after some hard work in the Sens' zone. Eric Staal punched the puck past Anderson with 3:30 left in regulation.

Skinner, who suffered a concussion earlier this season, was knocked out of the game with 6:49 left in the first period after an open-ice hit from Sens defenseman Jared Cowen. The hit came near center ice as Cowen, a big guy at 6-5 and 230 pounds, appeared to target the head of Skinner, who's listed at 5-11 and 200.

No penalty was called on Cowen, who was playing his first game of the season after a hip injury in October, playing for Binghamton in the AHL during the NHL lockout. He did receive a fighting major after the Canes' Chad LaRose dropped the gloves and went after him with Skinner down on the ice.

LaRose was given a two-minute instigator minor and 10-minute misconduct penalty and went to the penalty box. Skinner was helped to the locker room for treatment and did not return after what was called an "upper-body injury."

There were five fights in all in as the hit on Skinner continued to have repercussions throughout the game.

LaRose took on Cowen. The Canes' Nicolas Blanchard fought Zack Smith. Carolina's Kevin Westgarth finally got a piece of Cowen but came away from the fight with blood on his face.

In the final seconds of the second period, Canes defenseman Tim Gleason went at it with Neil, who landed the bigger blows. Late in the game, Carolina defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron fought Michalek.

Faulk's score, his fourth goal of the season, came after the Sens had moved ahead 2-0 on Michalek's shot from the slot, and it was answered by Neil's goal at the end of a two-on-one rush.

The Canes appeared to have taken a 1-0 lead with 4:23 left in the first when Tuomo Ruutu got the puck past Anderson at the shortside post. The play was reviewed and Ruutu was ruled to have kicked the puck in the net -- no goal.

Less than two minutes later, Sens forward Cory Conacher circled the Canes net and found Zibanejad open in the right circle for a shot that beat Canes goalie Justin Peters. It was Zibanejab's seventh goal of the season.

Faulk beat Anderson after battling for the puck along the boards in the Sens zone, making a nice move into the right circle and getting a shot on net -- the puck slowly bouncing past Anderson.

The Sens were to have played the Boston Bruins in Boston on Monday night, then return for the second half of a back-to-back set. But the bombings and tragedy in Boston resulted in the game being canceled by the NHL.

The Hurricanes go to Winnipeg for a Thursday game to complete the short Canadian road trip.

Alexander: 919-829-8945 or Twitter: @ice_chip

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