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Kings begin road trip against Carolina
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings hit the road for four straight games looking to clean up things on the defensive side of the ice. They begin their trip on Friday night with a meeting against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Kings yielded eight goals in back-to-back losses to Winnipeg and the New York Rangers and then blew a three-goal lead on Wednesday night against the Ottawa Senators. However, Los Angeles still came away with the victory on Jeff Carter's game-winner 28 seconds into overtime.
Carter's second goal of the game came on a redirection of Mike Richards' point shot. He also scored during a three-goal first period that saw Dustin Brown scored twice as well.
Richards and Anze Kopitar finished with two assists each and Jonathan Quick made 22 saves.
"Obviously it wasn't as clean as we wanted, but we got the job done," Brown said. "It's important for us to get these two points, and now we have to focus on the next two."
Carter has four goals and five points through Los Angeles' first four games, while Kopitar's two points gave him 480 for his career, surpassing Jim Fox (479 points) for eighth on the franchise's all-time scoring list.
The Kings now head east for games against Carolina, Florida, Tampa Bay and Nashville. They had won three in a row over the Hurricanes before a 2-1 setback at Carolina in the last meeting on Feb. 4, 2012.
Los Angeles is 1-2-2 with a tie in its last six games in Raleigh.
Quick has never faced the Hurricanes, who are coming off last night's 3-2 victory over rival Washington.
Nathan Gerbe had the tie-breaking goal 6:59 into the third period, converting a feed from Jordan Staal into the net following a long shot by Justin Faulk.
A free agent signing this summer, Gerbe scored his third goal of the season and had seven shots.
"He's doing a lot of things of well without the puck," said Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller. "He competes and he works and he's really worked for his goals so far, and it was a huge one. It's nice to see him get rewarded for all the other things he did tonight."
Alexander Semin had a game-tying goal during a 5-on-3 power play and Elias Lindholm, the fifth overall pick of the 2013 draft, scored his first NHL goal.
Jeff Skinner had two assists and Anton Khudobin had 30 saves to help the 'Canes improve to 2-1-1 on the season.
"These are the (games) that you have to reach down and give a little extra because they are going to be a little more intense," said Muller of the divisional matchup. "I thought our guys were really focused right from the start and played 60 solid minutes. They dug down and it wasn't easy. They stayed with it and came from behind and got a huge win."
Carolina will play its next three games at home and Muller is likely to go back to No. 1 netminder Cam Ward tonight. He is 2-0-1 with a 1.97 goals against average and .915 save percentage in three games versus the Kings.
Eric Staal is scheduled to surpass Rod Brind'Amour for fourth on the club's all-time games played list. His 694 career games are also even with Brind'Amour for second on the club since it relocated from Hartford.
Carolina forward Brett Sutter, meanwhile, will face off against his father, Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter, for the for the first time in an NHL game.
10/11 10:44:03 ET
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