Mrazek gets Hur­ri­canes to blank LA Kings

The Korea Times - - SPORTS -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) — The Carolina Hur­ri­canes al­ready have shown they can win in plenty of ways dur­ing the best start to a sea­son in fran­chise his­tory.

When the high-scor­ing Los An­ge­les Kings un­ex­pect­edly en­gaged them in a de­fen­sive grind, the Canes showed they can suc­ceed there as well.

Petr Mrazek made 31 saves in his 19th ca­reer shutout, and the Hur­ri­canes ex­tended their tor­rid start with a 2-0 vic­tory Tues­day night.

Martin Ne­cas scored in the sec­ond pe­riod and Se­bas­tian Aho tipped in an empty-net goal as the Canes re­bounded from their first de­feat and im­proved to 6-1-0 — a mark never reached even by the old Hart­ford Whalers — in the opener of a four-game road trip.

“We’re find­ing ways to win, and we’ve done it dif­fer­ent ways, which is good,” Carolina cap­tain Jor­dan Staal said. “A night like tonight wasn’t a free-for-all, back-and-forth (game). It was a dig-in kind of game. We did a good job of stick­ing with that style. Yeah, it’s a good start, but it’s go­ing to be a long sea­son.”

Carolina went ahead when Ryan Dzin­gel feath­ered a pass from be­hind the net to Ne­cas, who scored his sec­ond goal of the sea­son on a one-timer from the slot early in the sec­ond pe­riod. The 20-year-old Czech prospect has three ca­reer NHL goals.

“I saw a spot in the slot there, and Zinger found me per­fectly,” Ne­cas said. “We’re hav­ing fun. You’re al­ways hav­ing fun when you’re play­ing good. We like to play to­gether.”

Mrazek made only a hand­ful of tough saves af­ter the first pe­riod, in which he stopped 17 shots.

Jack Camp­bell stopped 21 shots for the Kings, who were shut out af­ter av­er­ag­ing four goals per game in their first five games this sea­son.

Los An­ge­les man­aged to play three pe­ri­ods of solid de­fen­sive hockey af­ter yield­ing 27 goals in those first five games un­der new coach Todd McLel­lan, but couldn’t beat Mrazek in the Kings’ third loss in four games.

“There wasn’t a lot of space to make plays ei­ther way,” McLel­lan said. “They cap­i­tal­ized on one of our mis­takes. We failed to do that on a cou­ple of theirs, but I thought it was a very evenly played game. That’s a team that went to the Fi­nal Four last year, so they’re a hard team to play against. They give you ab­so­lutely noth­ing as far as space goes.”

Drew Doughty went down with an in­jury af­ter get­ting boarded by Staal deep in the Hur­ri­canes’ end with 1:14 to play, al­though Doughty even­tu­ally skated off to the dress­ing room with­out much help.

“He’s get­ting looked at,” McLel­lan said. “Ap­par­ently he feels pretty good, so that’s a good sign.”


Carolina Hur­ri­canes de­fense­man Joel Ed­mund­son, right, passes the puck past Los An­ge­les Kings left wing Alex Iafallo dur­ing the sec­ond pe­riod of an NHL hockey game Tues­day, in Los An­ge­les.

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