Carolina Hurricanes' Jussi Jokinen shoots the winning goal past St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak during a shootout. JEFF ROBERSON - AP
ST. LOUIS — In the second-straight shootout for the Carolina Hurricanes, Jussi Jokinen, who had been denied in five shootouts this season, got the winner in a 2-1 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center Saturday.
After both teams grinded out to 0-0 game into the third period, Carolina center Brandon Sutter scored the first goal at 3:18, backhanding the puck past St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice has been tinkering with the lines, and one he stuck for much of the night was Sutter flanked by Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu.
But it was a short-lived lead.
The Blues (14-9-5), who were 3-for-3 on the power play on Thursday, finally made the Canes pay, cycling the puck from the right corner out to the right wing and then to defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who fired a hard slap shot through the screen in front of Carolina goalie Cam Ward at 6:31 in the period.
Ward had to be great, to turn away the Blues in the third period, when St. Louis poured on the offense after struggling early. St. Louis outshot the Canes 15-3 in the third period.
It was the Canes (12-12-4) that had gotten off to slow starts recently, but it wasn't the case in the second of a back-to-back road games, after Friday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas.
After the first couple of shifts, the Canes outskated and outhustled the Blues deep into the first period.
One of Maurice's combinations had center Eric Staal with Erik Cole and rookie Jeff Skinner.
The trio played tic-tac-toe, going Staal, Cole and Skinner, whose shot was turned away by Halak.
Skinner was denied three times in the first period, including a rebound he tried to put past Halak and a wrap-around attempt off that rebound.
With just under five minutes left in the first period, Blues wing BJ Crombeen and Canes defenseman Jay Harrison broke into fisticuffs, with Crombeen landing a few haymakers.
It left the Canes down a defenseman, with Harrison injured, and breathed some life into the Blues, though it was quickly squandered on a late tripping penalty by St. Louis defenseman Barret Jackman.
The Blues got momentum early in the second period, creating chances though both teams were creative, if unsuccessful, in scoring.
The Hurricanes had another power play at the halfway mark of the second, but didn't generate much, which energized the Blues, who had a handful of dangerous chances in front of Ward.
Maurice called a timeout after the Canes iced a puck, to rest the line, but the Blues kept pouring it on, and a pair of delay of game penalties on the Canes, the first by Jamie McBain and the second by Joe Corvo, gave the Blues 80 seconds of a two-man advantage near the end of the period.
The Canes killed it, and it was scoreless after two periods.