Hurting Sens fall to Hurricanes
The Ottawa Senators were hoping that a trip to Carolina would be just the cure for a three-game losing streak.
Make it four straight defeats after Ottawa fell 4-1 to the NHL-worst Hurricanes on Sunday.
Tom Kostopoulos and Rod Brind'Amour scored for Carolina in the second period, overturning a 1-0 Ottawa lead provided by Chris Kelly.
Carolina's Brett Carson scored his first career NHL goal in the third and Eric Staal rounded out the scoring with four minutes left.
'Canes goalie Cam Ward was the story early, as Ottawa (22-20-4) outshot Carolina 16-5 in the first period but couldn't crack the scoreboard.
"We played very well the first half," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said. "It made a difference with Ward — he was real good. It allowed them to get their game going."
Ward ended up with 31 saves.
"If it wasn't for Cam Ward, it could've been 5-0 easily after the first," Kostopoulos said.
Pascal Leclaire made 29 of 33 stops in a losing cause.
Leclaire dropped to 1-3-0 in his last five starts as the Senators' road record slid to 6-12-1, good for second-last in the league just ahead of the 'Canes. Not a good sign for a team just starting a five-game road trip. Ottawa visits Atlanta on Tuesday.
The Hurricanes (13-24-7) have won consecutive games for the first time since early December and are four points behind the 29th-place Edmonton Oilers.
On Tuesday in Toronto, the 'Canes could make it three in a row for the first time this season.
One bright spot for the Sens: nobody got hurt Sunday. Ottawa is being hammered with injuries. Daniel Alfredsson (shoulder), Jason Spezza (knee) and Milan Michalek (upper body) were already out of the lineup before Saturday's game against Florida, where the Senators added Filip Kuba (upper-body) and Jesse Winchester (knee) to the infirmary.
"Right now it seems what can go wrong is going wrong," Clouston said. "We've just got to suck it up and move forward."
Carolina isn't without injury either. The 'Canes are missing Tuomo Ruutu — who suffered an upper-body injury in a fight against Colorado's Darcy Tucker on Friday — along with Erik Cole, Sergei Samsonov, Joe Corvo and Scott Walker.
Kelly opened the scoring in the first at 7:04, finishing off a nifty passing play to put the Sens up 1-0.
But Kostopoulos tied the game 40 seconds later, finishing off a quick Carolina transition up-ice by burying Brandon Sutter's pass on a 2-on-1.
Brind'Amour made it 3-1 at 17:52 of the frame by one-timing a shot from the point thanks to a pass from Patrick Dwyer. The 39-year-old Brind'Amour, last in the NHL in plus-minus, has scored two goals in his last three games after a 35-game scoreless slump.
The 24-year-old Carson scored his first career NHL goal at 13:32 of the third after receiving a pass on the rush from Ray Whitney, who also assisted on Staal's goal at 15:43.
With files from The Associated Press