Hurricanes try to salvage finale of road trip against Coyotes
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes only have one more chance to pick up a victory on their four-game road trip, which comes to a close on Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.
The Hurricanes had won three in a row prior to this swing out west, but have gone 0-1-2 on the trip, dropping back-to-back overtime decisions in Edmonton and Calgary following a 2-0 loss at Vancouver on Dec. 9.
Carolina was bested 2-1 by the Flames on Thursday, with Calgary getting the winner with less than four seconds to go in overtime. Justin Peters made 28 saves.
Jeff Skinner scored the lone goal for the Hurricanes, but was also denied on a penalty shot with 5:25 left in the third period after getting hooked from behind during 4-on-4 play. His attempt to beat Karri Ramo five hole was denied.
"I tried to open him up but he didn't really bite on my fake. I probably shouldn't have forced it in there," Skinner said.
Carolina did get forward Alexander Semin back from a concussion that sidelined him for 12 straight games and he logged three shots in just under 21 minutes of action. However, rookie center Elias Lindholm suffered an undisclosed injury on a hard hit in the first period and did not return.
The Coyotes are playing without captain Shane Doan, who leads the club with 12 goals. He sat out for a third straight game on Thursday due to illness and it is unknown when he will be able to return to action.
The rest of the Phoenix offense picked up the slack in a 6-3 victory over the New York Islanders, with Rob Klinkhammer posting two goals and an assist.
Mike Ribeiro added a goal and two helpers and Mikkel Boedker scored twice. Mike Smith, returning from a bout with the flu, gave up three goals on 24 shots in the victory, the Coyotes' second straight following a 2-4-2 skid.
"Everyone can chip in here and everyone can score," said Ribeiro. "The defense likes to chip in, too, so it can make matching up against us hard on other teams."
Klinkhammer scored twice in a 5-3 win over the hosting Hurricanes back on Oct. 13. Doan had a goal and an assist and Smith stopped 31 shots to improve to 3-6-3 with a 3.05 goals against average in his career versus Carolina.
The win moved Phoenix to 3-0-1 in its past four versus the Hurricanes, but Carolina has won two straight in Phoenix.
Skinner, Eric Staal and Riley Nash had the goals for the 'Canes, while Cam Ward made nine saves on 12 shots in relief to take the loss. He took over for Anton Khudobin, who suffered a lower-body injury.
Ward is 3-4-0 with a 3.68 GAA lifetime against the Coyotes.