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Game Analysis: Ducks Edge Hurricanes Again

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The Carolina Hurricanes outplayed the Anaheim Ducks Thursday, but it wasn't enough to best one of the top Stanley Cup contenders. All three of the game’s goals were scored in the second period, with Anaheim getting two in the frame’s final six minutes en route to a 2-1 win.

Victor Rask outclassed veteran center Ryan Kesler, but his and Carolina’s efforts weren't enough to top the Ducks Thursday in Raleigh.
Victor Rask outclassed veteran center Ryan Kesler, but his and Carolina’s efforts weren't enough to top the Ducks Thursday in Raleigh.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Skinner finally scored, but that was all Carolina could get by Ducks goalie John Gibson. The Ducks rallied on Carolina again, erasing a 1-0 lead and scoring twice in the second period for a 2-1 win in Raleigh.

Three Observations

1. It was a good night for Victor Rask, who went head to head for much of the night vs. Ryan Kesler and proved up to the task. But the NHL is a league of mistakes, and Rask’s inability to clear a puck in front of Cam Ward led to the Ducks’ game winner. It spoiled an otherwise impressive night for Rask, who finished with nine shot attempts (six on goal) but was on the ice for both Anaheim tallies.

2. Ward lost the goaltending battle against young John Gibson. Gibson stopped 35 shots to Ward’s 15, and while Carolina’s goaltender wasn't the reason the Hurricanes dropped their second straight to the Ducks, he also didn't make any big stops in the game that could have altered the outcome, like Gibson did.

3. Alexander Semin was by no means perfect Thursday, but he did register an assist for his third point in the past four games. What Carolina now needs from its most lethal player is more shots: this marked the second straight game that Semin did not record a shot on goal, and against Anaheim he had his chances and opted to pass instead.

Number To Know

4 — Blocked shots for trade target Andrej Sekera, who leads the team with 94 on the season. It's an underrated aspect of Sekera’s game: he also led the team last season (127) and has improved at the skill since joining the Hurricanes from Buffalo.

Plus

Jeff Skinner — Skinner notched his first point since Jan. 10, had seven shots on goal (11 total attempts) and was credited with three hits in arguably his most inspired effort in months. The fact that Carolina has been as good as it has been of late without contributions from Skinner speaks volumes about how well the team has played since Jordan Staal’s return.

Minus

Brett Bellemore — It was not the best of nights for Carolina's No. 6 defenseman. Bellemore was turned into a red-and-black pylon by Corey Perry in the second, leading to the Ducks’ first goal. On a night when Carolina carried the play, Bellemore was the only defender with a negative Corsi (minus-2), and he also took Carolina’s only penalty of the game.

Bonus

Upon landing in Minnesota this afternoon, the Canes announced that they have recalled defenseman Michal Jordan from Charlotte as insurance for this two-game road swing. Coach Bill Peters told the media after practice this afternoon that Ron Hainsey was suffering from flu-like symptoms and his availability was in question for the upcoming games against the Wild and Senators. This is Jordan's second recall of the season, following a 16-game stint in December in which he was held scoreless. The release from the team is below.

CANES RECALL MICHAL JORDAN FROM CHARLOTTE

Defenseman has played in 16 games with Carolina this season

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes have recalled defenseman Michal Jordan (MIH-kahl yohr-DAHN) from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Jordan, 24, skated in 16 games with the Hurricanes from Nov. 26-Dec. 31, before he was reassigned to Charlotte on Jan. 8. The Zlin, Czech Republic, native has played in 29 games with the Checkers this season, scoring two goals and earning eight assists. Jordan (6’1", 195 lbs.) is in his fifth professional season, after earning AHL career highs in assists (21) and points (25) in 2013-14 with the Checkers. Carolina’s third selection, 105th overall, in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Jordan has appeared in 21 career games NHL with the Hurricanes.