Carolina at Chicago

Versteeg converts shootout winner as Blackhawks edge Hurricanes wire reports

CHICAGO -- Kris Versteeg has quickly learned the mental side of playing in the NHL, especially when it comes to shootouts.

The rookie star put a wrist shot past Cam Ward for the go-ahead score in the fourth round of a shootout, and Cristobal Huet stopped Sergei Samsonov to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 3-2 win over Carolina on Wednesday.

"We had a ton of shootouts at the start of the year," Versteeg said. "You just go down there and do whatever you have in your head. You try not to think too much. If it works, it works. If not ... not."

The Blackhawks appeared to have a victory in regulation.

But with Carolina on a power play and Ward off for an extra attacker, Tuomo Ruutu scored with 26.5 seconds left to tie it at 2.

Chicago's Jonathan Toews and Ruutu traded goals to open the shootout. And then the Patrick Kane and Jussi Jokinen scored to keep it even.

After both teams failed in the third round, Versteeg beat Ward to give the Blackhawks the advantage. Huet then stopped Samsonov as the Blackhawks raced to the ice to celebrate the win, one that ended Carolina's four-game winning streak.

"Pucks were going in all over the place," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was pretty exciting out there. The game was tight and that's what we're going to see until the end."

Chicago is fourth place in the Western Conference. With the point for the regulation tie, Carolina tied Pittsburgh for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with 78 points, although Hurricanes have one more loss than the Penguins,

"You have to keep winning. If you lose, you're going to be out of the playoffs pretty soon," said Ruutu, a Chicago first-round pick who dealt away last season. "It's always a little emotional, but not nearly like it was last year right after my trade."

Versteeg also had a tying goal in the second period.

In overtime, Ward stopped a partial break by Kane, and Huet blocked a shot by Eric Staal on a breakaway with 3 seconds to go.

Ward finished with 39 saves, and Huet had 29.

"It goes off to chance in the shootout," Ward said. "And they've got some good players who can shoot the puck."

Troy Brouwer gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead in the final period. On a power play, Kane skated from behind the net and slid a nice pass to Brouwer for the score.

Chicago's victory snapped a two-game losing streak and came without right winger Martin Havlat, who missed his first game of the season after sustaining a lower-leg injury Sunday in a loss to Colorado.

The Hurricanes opened the scoring at 5:24 of the first period. Rod Brind'Amour was wide open on the side and took a pass across the crease from Samsonov for an easy score.

Ward turned away seven shots during two Blackhawks' power plays in the opening period and also snuffed Kane on a point-blank attempt.

Versteeg scored on a 2-on-1 breakaway in the second, using a wrist shot from the left circle to beat Ward high on the glove side, and the Blackhawks had a tie.


  • It was Chicago's first win over Carolina since April 3, 1999. The Hurricanes were 7-0-1 against the Blackhawks in that span and had won four straight in Chicago. Wednesday's meeting was the only regular-season one between the teams this season.
  • Havlat could play in Friday's game against Columbus. With 21 goals and 36 assists, he is tied for second on the team with 57 points.
  • Quenneville coached his 900th NHL game.
  • Hurricanes' D Joni Pitkanen sustained a lower-body injury and did not play in the third period.
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Kris Versteeg beats Cam Ward in the shootout after also scoring a goal in regulation. (AP)
Kris Versteeg beats Cam Ward in the shootout after also scoring a goal in regulation. (AP)
Related Links
Carolina (36-27-6)10100 (2)2
Chicago  (37-19-9) «01101 (3)3
Three Stars
K. Versteeg

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
C. Huet

Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .935
B. Eager

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
05:24Rod Brind'Amour (11), Snap Shot. Assist: Samsonov, Eaves
17:08Kris Versteeg (18), Wrist Shot. Assist: Keith
04:51Power Play - Troy Brouwer (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kane, Barker
19:33Power Play - Tuomo Ruutu (21), Wrist Shot. Assist: Whitney, Staal
 Jonathan Toews (5), GOAL
 Tuomo Ruutu (3), GOAL
 Patrick Kane (2), GOAL
 Jussi Jokinen (5), GOAL
 Kris Versteeg (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
06:27Staal, 2 min, Cross-Checking
13:21Seidenberg, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
16:13Barker, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
08:12Toews, 2 min, Holding
09:13Ruutu, 2 min, Diving/Embellishment
18:49Eaves, 2 min, Elbowing
02:32Brouwer, 2 min, Tripping
02:36Ruutu, 4 min, High-Sticking
13:28Cole, 2 min, Tripping
18:57Toews, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
Cam Ward 64:1039243
Cristobal Huet 65:0029242
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 21513
Referees - Gord Dwyer, Mike Leggo
Linesmen - Jean Morin, Derek Nansen
Other Games
Van 3 Final
Ana 4
TB 2 Final
Ott 3