Carolina beat the Senators 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday night after Skinner sent it to overtime with his goal with 0.2 seconds left.
“I knew there wasn’t much time left,” Skinner said. “Right spot, I guess. … I just tried to get it through and was fortunate it went in.”
It’s the second time this season that the Hurricanes beat Ottawa after Skinner forced overtime with a late goal. On Nov. 8, he tied it with 3.3 seconds left before Jordan Staal won it in OT. Carolina improved to 13-0-2 in its last 15 home games against the Senators.
Rookie Jaccob Slavin scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout. Skinner finished with two goals, Jay McClement had a short-handed goal and Cam Ward made 21 saves for the Hurricanes, who won a shootout for the first time this season.
They have earned five of a possible six points in their three games since the trading deadline to move four points out of a playoff spot.
Zack Smith, Mark Stone and Ryan Dzingel scored for the Senators, who have lost five of seven.
“Every point we don’t take advantage of from here is a little bit more frustrating because we’re not making up any ground doing that,” goalie Andrew Hammond said. “I think the two words that describe it are disappointing and frustrating.”
Hammond made 34 saves for Ottawa, but Slavin — in his first NHL shootout attempt — beat him high with a backhand. Ward then stopped Smith to end it.
“That’s my go-to move,” Slavin said. “I’ve done that my whole life, and it’s worked a couple times for me in the past, so I figured I’d give it a shot.”
Skinner sent this one to OT when he took a pass from Victor Rask between the circles and ripped a shot past Hammond just before the horn sounded. The goal was upheld after Ottawa challenged whether Carolina’s Chris Terry interfered with Hammond; a review determined there was no penalty.
“It was a desperation play by them,” Ottawa coach Dave Cameron said.
For most of the third period, it looked as if the Senators’ 3-2 lead would stand after Smith put them back up with 34.1 seconds left in the second.
He got past rookie defenceman Noah Hanifin while skating in from the centre line and snapped a shot from the left circle that got between Ward’s pads for the eighth short-handed goal of his career and the NHL-best 12th for the Senators.
And they had two chances at an empty net after the Hurricanes pulled Ward for an extra attacker, but both went wide.
Carolina dug out of a two-goal hole, tying it early in the second. Skinner made it a one-goal game when he ripped a rebound past an outstretched Hammond. McClement then tied it 4:36 later, when — with 34 seconds left on a hooking minor to Brad Malone — he beat the Senators to a loose puck and clipped Hammond’s stick with his wrist shot.
That came after Stone and Dzingel put Ottawa up 2-0 in the first, with Stone tucking a puck inside the left post and Dzingel slipping a shot inside the other post.
NOTES: C Scott Gomez, who assisted on Stone’s goal, earned his first point in four games with Ottawa. He signed as a free agent earlier this month. … Carolina LW Brendan Woods won’t forget his first home game: He got into a first-period dustup with Ottawa RW Chris Neil. … The Hurricanes now face five straight road games and won’t play at home again for another two weeks. Their arena will host NCAA basketball tournament games next week.