RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes used a strong third period to extend their winning streak to three games.
The Hurricanes scored four goals in the third period to rally past the San Jose Sharks 5-3 on Friday night.
“That was our best game of the year,” Carolina coach Kirk Muller said.
Elias Lindholm had a goal and two assists to lead the Hurricanes, including the game-winner with six minutes remaining.
Jordan Staal, Eric Staal, Riley Nash and Jay Harrison had Carolina’s other goals.
Cam Ward made 22 saves for the Hurricanes in his return to the lineup after sitting out Carolina’s previous two games.
Justin Braun, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Tommy Wingels scored for the Sharks. Joe Thornton extended his point streak to eight games with an assist in the first period.
Backup goalie Alex Stalock made 30 saves, and San Jose lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season.
Before the loss to the Hurricanes and Thursday’s 5-1 defeat against Pittsburgh, San Jose had won six in a row.
“I don’t see an energized team right now,” San Jose coach Todd McLellan said. “I see us chasing and the other team dictating the pace of the game. I see us making sloppy plays, sloppy passes—even missing assignments that are defensive assignments that we should be able to do in our sleep right now.
“That could be lazy or that could be fatigue. We have to figure that part out.”
Lindholm’s go-ahead goal came on a deflection on Andrej Sekera’s wrist shot. Lindholm knocked it through Stalock’s legs after Sekera skated around the perimeter.
It was the first career multi-point game for Lindholm, who was Carolina’s first-round pick and fifth overall in the 2013 draft.
“That was the player we drafted,” Muller said.
Eric Staal then added an empty-net goal with 30.2 seconds remaining.
“That has got to be a big confidence builder for our guys tonight—to beat a team like that who we have a lot of respect for tonight,” Muller said.
San Jose had tied the score at 3 with 10:25 remaining in the third period on Braun’s slap shot from the point.
The Hurricanes scored twice earlier in the third period, controlling much of the action to erase a 2-1 deficit.
Nash first deflected a Harrison shot above Stalock’s left shoulder to tie the score at 2 at 4:54.
Jordan Staal then gave Carolina a 3-2 advantage 6:42 into the period when Nathan Gerbe centred the puck into the crease from the corner. Staal jammed at the puck a couple of times, and Stalock couldn’t freeze the puck before Staal knocked it into the net.
San Jose quickly tried to move past Thursday’s loss to the Penguins, scoring twice in the first period to build a 2-0 lead.
Wingels opened the scoring after Harrison couldn’t connect with Jordan Staal on a pass up the middle of the ice from behind the Hurricanes net. Wingels took advantage of the miscue, batting Jason Demers’ one-timer from the point by Ward.
The Sharks then took a 2-0 lead with 3:29 left in the period when Vlasic’s wrist shot from the blue line deflected off the skate of Nash and beat Ward.
Carolina rebounded with a strong second period, trimming the deficit to 2-1 on Harrison’s goal.
Harrison’s wrist shot from the point hit the boards behind Stalock and bounced into the crease.
Stalock couldn’t corral the puck, which ricocheted off Stalock’s pad and skate before sliding into the net.
“We need to regroup, to get some rest,” McLellan said. “I hope that is the case.”
NOTES: With forwards Drayson Bowman and Patrick Dwyer missing the game with injuries, Carolina recalled Zack Boychuk from Charlotte of the AHL before the game. Boychuk played at left wing. … The Hurricanes also agreed to terms with Carter Sandlak of the Plymouth Whalers on Friday. Sandlak will finish the season in the Ontario Hockey League before the Hurricanes decide where to assign him.