Noting the Canes' comeback victory

Posted by Chip Alexander on December 31, 2013 

The Canes haven't had a game quite like this one in a while.

They had not won a New Year's Eve game at home since 2005. They hadn't wiped out a three-goal deficit in the third period at home since 2009. They hadn't gotten two power-play goals from a player in 37 seconds or less since 1990, when they were the Hartford Whalers.

That's a lot to pack into one game, but the Canes did all that in the 5-4 overtime victory Tuesday over the Montreal Canadiens at PNC Arena.

Jeff Skinner had the two power-play goals as the Canes rallied after falling behind 3-0 after two periods. Eric Staal and Manny Malhotra also scored in the third before Alex Semin's winner in overtime.

Staal played his 730th career game, moving him past former defenseman Glen Wesley in most games played for the franchise since its relocation from Hartford in 1997. The captain watched the final 3:26 of regulation, and then 34 seconds of overtime, from the penalty box after being called for a boarding penalty, then unsportsmanlike conduct when he argued the call and slammed his stick into the glass.

But the Canes killed off the penalties and won their first game since beating the Phoenix Coyotes 3-1 on Dec. 14.

"A lot of guys probably feel really good about themselves," Canes coach Kirk Muller said.

Skinner scored 12 goals in the month of December and has 16 for the season. He has 12 goals and four assists (16 points), with five multi-point games, in his past 13 games.

Montreal was 19-0-2 this season when leading after two periods and Carolina 2-11-4 when trailing after two. The Canes also won despite going 2-10 on the power play.

"We were ready to play but we lost discipline and momentum," Habs coach Michel Therrien said.

Therrien said he was upset after Skinner's first power-play score, picking up his first unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty in two years.

"I was not happy and I did not yell much but the referee decided to give it to us," he said. "The penalty takes away all the momentum that we got."

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