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NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Carolina



(Wednesday, December 21st)

Final Score: Phoenix 4, Carolina 3

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Rostislav Klesla and Lauri Korpikoski scored third-period goals as the Phoenix Coyotes overcame a two-goal deficit to take a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Cal O'Reilly and Ray Whitney also lit the lamp for Phoenix, which won for the third time in four games.

Jason LaBarbera stopped 34-of-37 shots for the win.

"Even after the second period, I heard our guys talking, we felt like we had a chance to win the game," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett. "We just had to put a solid 20 minutes in. Korpikoski gave us a great period and we found a way to win. That's what it's all about."

Tuomo Ruutu, Andreas Nodl and Jiri Tlusty scored for the Hurricanes, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Cam Ward allowed all four goals on 19 shots in the loss.

Trailing by a score of 3-1 thanks to Tlusty slipping a shot through the pads of LaBarbera from the left circle 12:15 into the second period, O'Reilly quickly brought the Coyotes back within a goal a little over a minute later after he received a pass to the right of the net, cut across the goalmouth and lifted a shot under the crossbar.

The game entered the third period with Carolina holding its one-goal lead. The Coyotes were outshot by the Hurricanes, 11-6, in the final period, but Phoenix made the most of its limited opportunities with two similar plays to take the lead.

The first came at the 4:20 mark of the period when Korpikoski circled behind the net before backhanding a pass out front, where Klesla one-timed it past Ward.

Next, it was Korpikoski who was the recipient of a pass in the slot from Derek Morris after the defenseman wrapped behind the goal with 8:12 to go in regulation.

The Coyotes held off a late push from Carolina in the final minute with an extra attacker to hold on for the win.

"We got that third goal and I thought we were in good shape," Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller said. "Then they get that second goal and the team kind of dropped its energy. That's what we have to get away from."

An early Carolina penalty led to the Coyotes' first goal on a Whitney slap shot from the left point that made its way through a screen and into the net just 2:18 into the first period.

But the Hurricanes netted the equalizer near the midpoint of the opening frame when Alexei Ponikarovsky's wrister from the slot hit a body in front and Ruutu was there to stuff the puck home as it sat in front of the net.

Carolina took its only lead of the game at the 5:49 mark of the second period. Jaroslav Spacek attempted to dump the puck into the Phoenix zone, but it hit Phoenix forward Raffi Torres at the blue line. Nodl then collected the loose puck, skated to the slot and ripped a wrister into the top-left corner for a 2-1 margin.

Game Notes

LaBarbera played in his 150th career game...Phoenix has won four of its last five trips to Carolina...The Hurricanes had recorded a point in four of its five previous games (2-1-2)...The Coyotes went 1-for-2 on the power play, while the Hurricanes were 0-for-3 with the man advantage.

12/21 23:32:10 ET


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