Carolina goalie Arturs Irbe joined a short list of those able to beat the St. Louis Blues at home.
Although his team was outshot 30-17, Irbe turned aside 28 shots as the Hurricanes knocked off the Blues, 4-2, last night. Since losing its first two home games, St. Louis compiled a 10-1-2 record at Kiel Center, with the only loss coming against defending Stanley Cup champion Dallas on Nov. 9.
Carolina Coach Paul Maurice said Irbe was the difference.
"You need something special [to win here] and we got that from our goalie," Maurice said. "He was outstanding."
As for Irbe, he said that he does not worry about how a team is doing before he faces them.
"I don't look at those stats where some team is really hot at home or on the road, because it really doesn't matter," Irbe said. "All we wanted was to play a solid game and get a good effort. We didn't get rattled after a pretty lousy start."
Irbe's night got off to a particularly dreadful beginning when, slightly more than five minutes into the game, he saw defenseman Al MacInnis wide open at the top of the faceoff circle and winding up for a slap shot. MacInnis scored to give the Blues a 1-0 lead, but at least Irbe came away with his health intact.
"He hasn't hurt me yet, knock on wood," Irbe said of MacInnis, who has one of the hardest shots in the league. "When he gets room and he's down that deep, it's almost impossible to react."
After giving up a goal to Pavol Demitra at 13 minutes 52 seconds of the first, Irbe shut the Blues out the rest of the way.
"Irbe made some big saves on our power play," Blues center Pierre Turgeon said. "It was one of those nights when nothing happened for us."
Carolina's Jeff O'Neill scored twice and added an assist to help send the Blues to only their third loss in 13 games (8-3-2).
DEVILS 2 PENGUINS 1: Claude Lemieux set up goals by John Madden and Randy McKay to help send the visiting Penguins to their third straight loss.
Martin Brodeur made 24 saves in winning an entertaining goaltending battle with Jean-Sebastien Aubin, who made 39 stops in filling in for the suspended Tom Barrasso.
Brodeur lost his shutout on a power-play goal by Jan Hrdina, his first of the season. But he preserved the win in the closing seconds, stopping a German Titov shot from the left circle.
FLAMES 3, CANADIENS 3: Montreal's Martin Rucinsky scored twice in the second period in the tie against visiting Calgary.
The tie snapped a three-game losing streak for the injury-riddled Canadiens, while the Flames concluded a six-game road trip on which they went 2-2-1-1.
Derek Morris and Cory Stillman scored on Calgary's first two shots on Jeff Hackett and Valeri Bure made it 3-1 after Montreal's Dainius Zubrus scored early in the second period.
Rucinsky's 11th and 12th goals of the season sent the teams into the third period tied at 3.