Staff photo by Chris Seward
RALEIGH — Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward happily thrust his arms over his head when it ended. Earlier, the Canes' Rod Brind'Amour did the same, from his knees, after scoring a second-period goal.
For the Canes, scoring goals and scoring a victory Sunday were cause for celebration. After losing their last three games and four of the last five, after trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 in the second period, the Hurricanes were a jubilant bunch after a 3-2 shootout win at the RBC Center.
Tuomo Ruutu beat Lightning goalie Mike Smith with a goal to start the shootout and Brind'Amour -- whose goal tied the score 2-2 in the second -- followed with another after Vinny Lecavalier missed for Tampa Bay. Ward then stopped Jussi Jokinen to end it.
"We played with a lot of emotion tonight and that's something we desperately needed," Ward said. "To be able to come back, being in a hole 2-0, it's huge for us, and hopefully we can build off that."
It was the Lightning's first game since Barry Melrose was fired as head coach and replaced by Rick Tocchet.
The Canes, trailing 2-0 late in the second period, tied it 2-2 on goals by Wade Brookbank and Brind'Amour.
Brookbank scored his first goal, and picked up his first point of the season at 14:19 of the second. Then, at 15:37, Brind'Amour took a Scott Walker pass and fired a shot past Lightning goalie Mike Smith.
Brind'Amour moved into 50th place in career NHL points with 1,127, passing Mike Bossy and Joe Nieuwendyk.
"I didn't think we played poorly when we were behind," Canes coach Peter Laviolette said. "I actually liked the way we played the first, and in the second I just think things bounced against us a little bit."
In the second period, the Canes were on the power play when they were called for too many men on the ice. The Lightning scored on their abbreviated power play, but appeared to have too many players on the ice during a line shift when Lecavalier came over the boards.
No penalty was called and the Lightning scored moments later on a Lecavalier goal to make it 2-0. Laviolette angrily protested and the fans booed, and the turn of events appeared to both anger and energize the Canes.
"We had just gone to the box for too many men on a real marginal call but we didn't say anything," Laviolette said. "Our defenseman had a foot on the ice on the change. Then the same thing happened. They've got too many men on the ice, it hits their player. The two illegal players actually should get the assist because it touched both of them."
The Canes managed just one shot in the third and ended the period with another penalty for too many men on the ice with 14.8 seconds left. The Lightning started overtime with a 4-on-3 advantage but couldn't score.
"In the third period, I think we had five (scoring) chances and they didn't have any, so that's what you try to teach," Tocchet said. "Four on three, we have a couple of posts and stuff like that. That's where you want to put the game away."
The Canes were 3-4 in shootouts last season after going 0-5 in 2006-2007. They lost their only shootout this season at Montreal, where Matt Cullen, Eric Staal and Ray Whitney all failed to score and the Canadiens won the shootout 1-0.
But Ruutu gave the Canes a quick score.
"If I start overthinking and overdoing I'm not going to hit the top corner and enjoy myself," Ruutu said. "I just tried to keep it simple and shoot it. It was good to get to go out there and nice to go right away and kind of give them the pressure.
"Roddy had a nice goal after that and that's it."
The Lightning took a 1-0 first-period lead on a goal by Martin St. Louis. The goal came after Tampa Bay killed off its third penalty of the period.
Former Cane Radim Vrbata came out of the box and assisted on the St. Louis goal at 11:20. The Canes had outshot the Bolts 10-3 before the goal but couldn't beat Tampa Bay goalie Mike Smith.
After missing four games with a shoulder injury, the Canes' Patrick Eaves was back in the lineup.
The Canes announced before the game that forward Patrick Dwyer had been reassigned to Albany (AHL). Dwyer played in seven games afterbeing called up. ...