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(Saturday, March 30th)
Final Score: Carolina 3, Winnipeg 1
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - Eric Staal and Alexander Semin each came up with a goal and an assist, and the Carolina Hurricanes put the breaks on a seven-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre.
Justin Peters, making a third straight start in place of an injured Dan Ellis, turned away 34-of-35 shots to help Carolina pick up an important two points against the Southeast Division-leading Jets. The Hurricanes now trail Winnipeg by four points for first place.
Jussi Jokinen, placed on waivers by Carolina earlier in the week, also had a goal in his return to the lineup, while Tuomo Ruutu contributed two assists before exiting with a lower-body injury in the first period.
"We put 60 good minutes together tonight," said Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller. "We didn't get away from our game, our leaders kept leading and all the guys contributed. That's what I think was really rewarding for the guys tonight."
Olli Jokinen had the lone goal for Winnipeg, which had handed the Hurricanes a 4-1 defeat in Raleigh on Tuesday, with Ondrej Pavelec finishing with 25 saves in the setback.
"We're still in the lead, so the division race will play itself out," Jets head coach Claude Noel said afterward. "We had an opportunity to extend the gap. No one's more disappointed than us. I'm sure everyone's disappointed. They didn't come here anticipating this (result) today."
Despite managing just seven shots to the Jets' 11 in the opening period, the Hurricanes went into the first intermission carrying a 2-0 lead on goals by Semin and Jussi Jokinen.
Carolina swiftly set the tone, with Staal speeding from behind the Winnipeg net on a wraparound attempt that Pavelec blocked. However, Semin fired home the loose puck to send the Hurricanes ahead just 1:06 into the contest.
Jussi Jokinen made it a two-goal advantage with Carolina on the power play near the midway mark of the frame, lifting a pinpoint cross-ice feed from Joni Pitkanen over Pavelec's shoulder with the Jets' Evander Kane in the box for a hooking infraction.
Winnipeg got the second period off to a far better start, as Kane rushed up the right side before centering the puck into the crease for Olli Jokinen's tip-in goal with 1:26 elapsed in the session.
The Jets were able to kill off a pair of brief two-man advantages by Carolina during the middle stanza to maintain a one-goal differential, but the Hurricanes struck quickly in the third to pad their lead.
A Staal shot from the right circle made its way through the pads of a screened Pavelec a mere 28 seconds into the period, putting Carolina up by a 3-1 count.
Peters stopped all 12 shots he faced over the final 20 minutes to sew up the Hurricanes' first win since March 12.
Carolina had lost six of the last eight meetings between the divisional foes, two of which occurred earlier this season ... Ellis missed a third straight game due to a cut near his left knee, while forward Chad LaRose (illness) sat out a second consecutive contest for the Hurricanes ... Carolina improved to 9-2-2 this season when scoring the game's first goal ... The road team has now prevailed in 15 of the 21 most recent meetings in the series ... Hurricanes forward Tim Brent participated in his 200th career NHL game.
03/30 19:24:08 ET