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Game Analysis: Hurricanes Put Up Fight But Fall Short Vs. Ducks

Carolina’s first and fourth lines carried the day again, but the Ducks tandem of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry proved too much in the end. Perry had three points, including the primary assist on Getlaf’s OT game-winner, to lead Anaheim to a 5-4 win over the Hurricanes.

Brad Malone scored his second goal — a converted penalty shot — in as many games to help Carolina earn a point against Cup contender Anaheim.
Brad Malone scored his second goal — a converted penalty shot — in as many games to help Carolina earn a point against Cup contender Anaheim.
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The Hurricanes weathered a strong start from the Ducks and took over the game in the third period, but a late Anaheim rally sent the game to overtime, where Ryan Getzlaf notched the game-winning goal.

Three Observations

1. Alexander Semin scored his second goal of the season, burying a shot past Frederik Andersen for Carolina’s first goal of the night. It was the kind of play the Hurricanes need Semin to make every couple of games. On top of his goal, Semin made a couple deft passes and helped Carolina’s second line match up well vs. Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler-led second forward unit.

2. Jeff Skinner, mired in an eight-game point drought — is seemingly close to getting back on the score sheet, but he took a half-step backward Tuesday with his third period penalty that negated Carolina’s second 5-on-3 power play of the night. With the Ducks within one and coming on strong, Carolina could have put the game away with a timely power play goal. But just 27 seconds after they got the two-man advantage, Skinner took a foolish tripping penalty that helped stall Carolina’s chance to deliver a death blow. No Carolina player played less than Skinner’s 11:45, and with his production at a standstill and mistakes like last night's penalty occurring regularly, he probably won't earn more ice time.

3. Anaheim’s Eric Brewer was playing just his third game of the season and first since Dec. 1, but the Ducks have to be sweating a little after his performance Tuesday. Brewer looked lost and slow against the Hurricanes, and at 35 you have to wonder if he can rebound even if he gets more games under his belt. Anaheim probably thought they were getting a veteran presence for their third pairing when they acquired Brewer from Tampa Bay in late November. Brewer can still provide a leadership role, but one wonders if he'll face the same fate he did at the end of his tenure with the Lightning: a seat in the press box.

Number To Know

4 — Shots on goal for Brad Malone, a career high. Two of the shots came on breakaways as Anaheim players were hit with obstruction penalties, the first leading to a penalty shot that Malone converted to give Carolina a 3-2 lead early in the third. Malone also tied for the team lead in hits (three) and blocked shots (two), and registered the first plus-2 game of his career.

Plus

Brad Malone — Malone was anywhere and everywhere last night, contributing to the fourth line’s continuing-to-grow defensive responsibility while also keeping up his torrid scoring pace. He scored for the second straight game — on a penalty shot — and has points in three straight, plus he has eight points in his last 12 games after having none through 27 games.

Minus

Riley Nash — Nash’s line — where he centers Nathan Gerbe and Skinner — has been in a funk, but it needs to be relied on defensively. On Devante Smith-Pelly’s third period goal that pulled the Ducks within one, Nash lost the battle in front of Anton Khudobin, allowing Smith-Pelly to redirect Jakob Silfverberg’s feed and give the Ducks momentum. Victor Rask has moved well ahead of Nash on the depth chart, and with Nash a restricted free agent this offseason he may fighting for an offer if he doesn't turn around his season.