After another very slow start, Jiri Tlusty tied the game in the second period and Jeff Skinner netted the game winner in the third as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night, 2-1 in front of an announced sell out crowd of 18,680 at the RBC.
The Canes were very sluggish in the opening period and managed only four shots on goal, even though they had two powerplay opportunities. The Kings took a 1-0 lead on a shot by Anze Kopitar, but Tim Gleason took down Kyle Clifford near the end of the first as both received fighting majors and Tlusty ignited the crowd with a tremendous play at 15:40 into the second.
Tlusty blocked a shot at the blue line and used his speed to get past the defense in a race to the puck at center ice. From the slot area he put a perfect shot past goalie Jonathan Bernier to tie things up.
Skinner then made a series of good plays leading to his goal at 3:02 in the third. First he kept the puck alive behind the net. As Drayson Bomwn passed it to Jussi Jokinen, last year's Calder winner then went to the front of the net where he dug out Jokinen's rebound and slid it past Bernier for the winner.
It was his 15th of the season.
The Kings would battle as best they could the rest of the way, but Cam Ward was on his game and made 24 saves on a game total of 25 shots for Los Angeles.
- The powerplay did not look good in this one as the team went 0-3. The Kings scored their only goal with the man advantage and went 1-2 on the game.
- After just four shots in the first, the Canes finished with a total of 22 for the game. Tuomo Ruutu had a game high eight shots. Next closest was Skinner with three.
- The Canes won just 40% in the circle, better from their 30% clip in Boston. (Staal 38%, Sutter 33%, Nash 25%, Brent 50% Skinner 50%)
- The team was credited with 23 hits led by Tlusty with four.
- Carolina had 24 blocked shots. Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek were tops with three each.
- Allen and Justin Faulk led the way with 23:00 and 22:59 of ice time respectively. Low on the team was Anthony Stewart who had 8:00.
- Riley Nash was credited with a team high three takeaways.
post game interviews: