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Harrison's goal gives Canes 3-2 OT win

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Cam Ward says he's relaxed and having fun in net again, which is always a good thing for the Canes.

Following up a strong 41-save victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ward was ultra-sharp again Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators, making 45 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory at Scotiabank Place.

The Canes had their troubles on the road and in overtime last season. But Jay Harrison's goal at 2:19 of overtime gave Carolina (5-4) its third road win in its first nine games and a victory in its first OT game.

"We hung in there and found a way to get it done," Canes coach Kirk Muller said.

Harrison said he was in the right spot at the right time -- to the left of Sens goalie Craig Anderson at the post, in position to poke in the loose puck. The defenseman's score, his second goal of the season, came after Jordan Staal put a shot on net and crashed the net.

Chad LaRose and Alexander Semin also scored for Carolina -- Harrison earning an assist on LaRose's goal for a two-point night.

"They don't ask how, they ask how many," Harrison said. "It was a good win for us. We had a bit of a lull in the second period. The fact we were able to recover from that and put together a good third, get to overtime and capitalize on our opportunity, I think is a big step for us and a building block going forward.

"The fact we were able to get back on the horse in the third, have a few big penalty kills, had a power-play goal and then an overtime goal demonstrated that we played a pretty solid road game."

The Canes, now halfway through a six-game road trip, trailed twice in the game. Erik Karlsson, who had 11 shots for the Sens, gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead after the first period, and Daniel Alfredsson pushed the Sens ahead 2-1 in the second with a crisp shortside shot that clipped Ward in the shoulder.

Alfredsson's goal came after LaRose scored his first goal of the season for the Canes, taking a stretch pass from Drayson Bowman and beating Anderson on a breakaway with a rising shot. But the Sens controlled the pace and flow of the game throughout most of the second period.

"We said after the second, it's a tight game and we haven't played our best, let's come out and do things well," Muller said. "We knew we were getting the goaltending from Cam tonight. He gave us a chance to hang in there and our special teams did a great job."

Semin tied it 2-2 with a power-play goal in the third, cruising into the slot, taking a pass from Eric Staal and whipping a shot past Anderson. Staal's assist extended his point streak to seven games.

The power-play score came after Alfredsson was called for a delay penalty, lifting the puck over the glass attempted to clear the zone. The Canes then had to kill off a Semin hooking penalty to keep it a tie game.

Ward and Anderson both made a slew of spectacular saves. The Sens often crowded the crease, whacking at the puck, but Ward made the stops and got enough help in front of him to ward off the threats.

"I felt very comfortable again tonight," Ward said. "I was kind of able to carry over the game from Toronto. They're a strong team. They played really well. They throw a lot of pucks to the net and they drive hard.

"We've been stressing special teams all year long, that we need to get better. Our power play was able to come up with a big goal to tie the game."

In was the second time in less than a week the Canes topped the Sens in a tight game. Carolina won 1-0 last Friday at PNC Arena with Dan Ellis in net for the shutout.

The Hurricanes move on to Philadelphia for the second road game against the Flyers in a week -- another quirk of a condensed, unusual NHL schedule. The Flyers beat the Canes 5-3 last Saturday and the two teams face off again at Wells Fargo Arena in a 1 p.m. game Saturday.

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Defense

Great win for the Canes but the D needs to play better in front of Ward, he isn't always going to be that sharp.

You could have cut and

You could have cut and pasted that comment for the past 3 or 4 years.

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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at chip.alexander@newsobserver.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.
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