Tracking the Storm: Analysis
– The Carolina Hurricanes came out flat in a Sunday matinee against the Phoenix Coyotes, and they never really recovered from there. The Coyotes took a 5-3 decision after a two-goal third period. Eric Staal, Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner found the back of the net for the Hurricanes, but it wasn’t enough. “I’m not very happy at all. A few guys came ready to play and battle, but we had too many passengers tonight,” head coach Kirk Muller said. “We had some of top guys that just didn’t bring their ‘A’ game today.”
– Overshadowing the loss of two points is the loss of goaltender Anton Khudobin. He skated out to the far face-off dot to play the puck, slipping in the process. He had to be helped off the ice at the subsequent whistle after stopping 18 of 20 shots. “It didn’t look good, obviously, the way he went off the ice,” Muller said. Khudobin, who started his third game in net this afternoon, will be further evaluated with an MRI on Monday.
– A turning point in the game, perhaps, was the missed opportunity of a five-on-three advantage for the Canes that lasted 1:56. A few chances aside, the man advantage didn’t do much to create momentum. Phoenix scored shortly after. “We don’t score on the five-on-three, and it just dropped the whole life of our team,” Muller said.
– That said, Skinner notched a power-play tally just about three minutes after Phoenix grabbed a 3-2 lead. That evened it up and set the table for the third period. “It was a matter of going out and having a good third, and we just didn’t put the work into it today,” Muller said.
– With his second goal of the season, Skinner leads the team with seven points (2g, 5a) in six games. Nathan Gerbe recorded an assist on the goal, his second of the season, which extended his point streak to a career-high four games.
– The third period was an interesting one, to say the least. Eight penalties were whistled in the final period, including a number of ticky-tacky stick infractions and embellishment calls. “It was a slow, choppy game. There wasn’t a whole lot of flow and a lot of penalties. It was tough to get just a few shifts together to get some momentum going,” Jordan Staal said. “It was just one of those games that we couldn’t find our mojo.”
– Skinner on the game’s flow: “It’s choppy and there’s no flow for them, either,” he said. “We’ve got to be a little more desperate to get the win.”
– Whistles and choppy play aside, Muller simply wasn’t impressed with his team’s effort. “It’s what it is. You’ve got to find a way to get it done. Every game brings different tests and challenges,” he said. “I just didn’t like our compete level and life today. It wasn’t there like the other games. Whistles or not, you’ve got to create that intensity.”
CAROLINA HURRICANES TICKETS
RALEIGH, NC October 13, 2013 – Phoenix Coyotes forward Rob Klinkhammer’s second goal of the game early in the third period broke open a tie game, and the Coyotes earned a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon at PNC Arena.
The win marked the third in a row for Phoenix, which completed a five-game road trip. Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith stopped 31 shots for his third win of the season.
Hurricanes starting goalie Anton Khudobin left the game in the middle of the second period with a lower-body injury.
With the score tied 3-3 in the first minute of the third, Klinkhammer gathered the puck on the boards in his own end, raced up the right side and beat Ward to the short side, a goal that stood up as the game winner.
Shane Doan added a power-play goal, giving him a two-point game after being held off the score sheet in his previous five.
With the score tied 1-1 entering the second period, the Hurricanes took the lead on Riley Nash‘s tip of a Ryan Murphy shot from the point. The Coyotes answered when Klinkhammer whacked away at a loose puck in the crease until finally sliding it under Khudobin to tie the game at two.
Moments later, Khudobin left the game after taking an awkward spill. He came out to play a dump-in in the top of the left circle, but fell to his knees. After making his way back to the crease, he signaled the bench for help, needing assistance to skate off the ice on one leg. He stopped 18 of 20 Phoenix shots before being replaced by Cam Ward.
The Coyotes found themselves in a tough spot just two minutes later, needing to kill 1:56 of a Carolina two-man advantage. But Phoenix was up to the task, killing the penalty with key shot blocks.
Phoenix took a 3-2 lead at the 15:58 mark of the period when Lauri Korpikoski riffled a one-timer past Ward on a feed from Mike Ribeiro. The Hurricanes then drew even on the power play when Jeff Skinner roofed a shot from the right of the net to beat Smith.
Phoenix forward Mikel Boedker started the scoring at 4:59 of the first with a power-play goal. Derek Morris’ blast was stopped by Khudobin, but Boedker backhanded the rebound for his second goal of the season. The Hurricanes tied the game 10 minutes later on Eric Staal‘s first of the year. A Coyotes’ clearing attempt took a wild bounce off the glass and went to Staal in the slot, where he sent a backhand inside the far post.
The first period didn’t have much flow, the result of each team being whistled for three minor penalties. The Coyotes carried play early in the period, out-shooting the Hurricanes 8-1 in the first 12 minutes. The Hurricanes found their stride late in the period, taking an 11-9 lead in shots.
The two teams combined for 18 minor penalties, 11 for the Coyotes and seven for the Hurricanes.
Hurricanes forward Tuomo Ruutu was activated for the game after missing the first five games of the season with a lower-body injury.