RALEIGH, N.C. — A dozen or so games into an already impressive career, Andrew Hammond is beginning to figure things out.
The 27-year-old rookie became the second goalie in NHL history to give up no more than two goals in each of his first 12 starts, and the Ottawa Senators beat Carolina 2-1 when Mark Stone scored 4:46 into overtime Tuesday night.
Hammond (11-0-1) matched the record set by Boston’s Frank Brimsek, who in 1938 also went 12 consecutive games without allowing more than two goals.
"It was awesome to tie that record tonight. Maybe (the NHL) caters to my game a little bit more," Hammond said.
"Now that I’ve made a few adjustments and added a little bit more structure to my game I’ve been able to kind of think the game a little bit better," he said. "The guys at this level are so skilled they make the play more often than not. For me, a big part of my game is just reading the play and maybe that helps a little bit."
Hammond made 35 saves to outduel the Hurricanes’ Anton Khudobin, who stopped 31 shots but lost for the first time in six career appearances against Ottawa.
"Hammond was real good," Senators coach Dave Cameron said. "Any time a guy can come in and have an old coach coach him and he (ties) a record from before the old coach was even born, you go back a long way."
The win left Ottawa four points behind Boston in the race for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
And the victory came in a tough building for the Senators, as Carolina is 11-0-2 in its last 12 meetings with Ottawa at PNC Arena.
"That’s one of the most exciting overtimes I’ve ever been a part of," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "I thought they dominated in the second (period), and then we recovered in the third and had a good pushback."
"It was kind of like a playoff-style hockey game, and I thought both goaltenders made big saves."
Elias Lindholm gave Carolina a 1-0 lead in the first period with his 15th goal. Patrick Wiercioch tied it in the second for Ottawa with his second.
The Senators are 12-1-1 since a 6-3 home loss to the Hurricanes on Feb. 16. Carolina also beat Ottawa 3-2 on Jan. 17.
"For a team that’s not necessarily playing for the playoffs, Carolina played a great game," Hammond said.
Stone’s goal was his 18th of the season. Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson, who leads NHL defencemen with 56 points and 38 assists, set up Stone.
"We had a ton of chances," Stone said. "And some of the saves (Hammond) makes — when any goalie makes them you kind of shake your head. But for him to be that stable this early in his NHL career is spectacular to see."
The Hurricanes led 1-0 after the first period despite being outshot 10-7.
Lindholm scored on a rush at 12:59 of the first, beating Hammond over the left shoulder with a drive from the top of the right circle. A cross-ice pass gave Jeff Skinner his 100th career assist.
NOTES: Carolina will visit Montreal on Thursday. Ottawa will host Boston in the opener of a four-game homestand. … Carolina D Jack Hillen (concussion) missed his sixth straight game. D Rasmus Rissanen (MCL) was out and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. C Riley Nash was a healthy scratch. … Ottawa’s healthy scratches were C Colin Greening, C Zack Smith and D Eric Gryba. … Carolina’s Brad Malone and Ottawa’s Mark Borowiecki fought at 2:44 of the first. The Hurricanes’ Nathan Gerbe fought the Senators’ Milan Michalek at 17:28 of the third.