There are a couple of things that hadn’t happened to the San Jose Sharks this season before the Carolina Hurricanes beat them 5-3 on Friday night. The first is that they hadn’t lost two consecutive games in regulation. The Sharks have had two six-game winning streaks, one of the reasons why they were second in the NHL in points entering the game against the Hurricanes, but they generally have bounced back from disappointing outings by winning their next time out. Since San Jose lost 5-1 to Pittsburgh on Thursday, Carolina could count on getting San Jose’s best shot. The second is that the Sharks hadn’t dropped a game this year in which they led after two periods. Prior to Friday, their record in such games was 16-0-1. Using an inspired four-goal third period and dynamic performances by a number of their players – especially a three-point effort by rookie Elias Lindholm – the Hurricanes found a way to overcome such daunting recent history. All it took was what Carolina coach Kirk Muller said was the team’s “best game this year.” “We said before, if we are going to play against a team like San Jose that is such a good hockey team, we have to bring our ‘A game’ tonight,” Muller said. “This has got to be a big confidence builder for our guys tonight, to beat a team like that.” There was no shortage of players who excelled for Carolina. Jordan Staal, Eric Staal, Jay Harrison and Riley Nash all scored goals. Zach Boychuk had an assist after being recalled from Charlotte earlier in the morning (forwards Patrick Dwyer missed the game with an upper-body injury while Drayson Bowman had a lower-body injury). And while he let in at least one soft goal and appeared to be searching for his confidence, Cam Ward made 22 saves to earn the win after watching Justin Peters stop 46 of 49 shots in the Hurricanes’ wins over Washington and Nashville earlier this week.
Hurricanes get four goals in 3rd period to beat Sharks 5-3
Raleigh News & Observer | Dec 7