The Carolina Hurricanes had a slow start on Sunday afternoon, then rebounded nicely to take a 2-1 lead midway through the second period, only to have the visiting Phoenix Coyotes score two straight goals in the third period to beat them, 5-3 in front of 15,384 at the PNC Arena.
This was a crazy, penalty filled affair which had many more sloppy type penalties than physical ones. The Coyotes were called for 11 penalties while the Hurricanes were called seven times.
Officially, Carolina went 1-9 on the powerplay while Phoenix went 2-5. The Canes had almost two minutes of a 5-on-3 chance which they came up short on.
Penalties or not, coach Kirk Muller was not happy with the home team's effort and said that there were "too many passengers" on his team in this game.
The Coyotes started out well and were out-shooting the Hurricanes by an 8-1 margin to start the game. They took a 1-0 lead when Mikkel Boedker slammed in a Shane Doan shot which hit the pipes during their first powerplay chance.
Carolina tied things up later in the first period when Eric Staal corralled a loose puck and back-handed it past Mike Smith.
Then the home team took the lead 7:11 into the second period when Riley Nash tipped a Ryan Murphy shot in the net, but the Coyotes would tie things up just a minute and change later as the Canes allowed the 'Yotes to pound away at loose puck in the crease.
With the score tied 2-2, Anton Khudobin went out of the crease toward the blue line to play the puck and hurt himself after he slipped, trying to get back to the net. He had to be helped from the ice and Cam Ward took his place. At the time the goalie had allowed two goals on 20 Phoenix shots.
A bit after that, Mike Ribeiro found a wide open Lauri Korpikoski who made no mistake putting the visitors back up by one.
But after blowing a long 5-on-3 chance, Jeff Skinner took a nice feed from Nathan Gerbe and tied things up, while scoring the team's only powerplay goal of the game. The goal came with just 57 seconds left in the second period.
Jordan Staal would then bring fans out of their seats as it appeared he scored with just a few seconds left, but the replays showed that he hit the crossbar and the puck then bounced on the goal line and out. Both teams went to the second intermission with the score tied 3-3.
The third period was all Coyotes on the scoreboard though as they scored just 22 seconds in, then made it a two goal lead less then seven minutes later.
Ward ended up allowing three goals on 12 shots for the time he was in.
Coach Muller was unhappy with the effort of some of the players on his team. He had no update on Khudobin's injury and said that the goalie would have an MRI later.
The Canes will next face the Blackhawks on Tuesday night at home.
- The Hurricanes got called for embellishment again in this one as Tuomo Ruutu was sent to the penalty box after being tripped. That makes at least three times the team has been called for diving so far this year. Korpikoski was also called for the Coyotes.
- Rob Klinkhammer had two goals for the visitors, his first two of the season.
- The Canes outshot the 'Yotes 34-32 for the game. Skinner had a team high six while Eric Staal had five.
- The Canes were improved in the faceoff circle and finished at 45% in this game, although the Staal brothers continue to struggle. Eric was 36%, Jordan 45%, and Riley Nash won 73%.
- Andrej Sekera had a team high three blocked shots. Phoenix had 16 blocked shots to the Hurricanes 10.
- The Coyotes had 25 hits to 16 for Carolina.
- Justin Faulk had a team high 27:10 of ice time. Next closest was E. Staal with 22:40.
- Skinner leads the team with seven points, (2G 5A) in six games. Gerbe has tied his career high point streak and extended it to four games. He is second on the team in scoring with five points, (3G 2A).