Coyotes cap road trip in Carolina
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to close a five-game road trip with a third consecutive victory when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes for a matinee Sunday afternoon at PNC Arena.
The Coyotes opened the 2013-14 campaign on home ice with a win over the New York Rangers, but dropped the first two tilts of this swing by losing to San Jose and the New York Islanders by a combined score of 10-2.
However, Phoenix recorded a 4-2 win Thursday in Detroit before beating the Philadelphia Flyers by a 2-1 score on the following night. Oliver Ekman- Larsson's power-play goal late in the second period broke a 1-1 tie against the Flyers and Phoenix held on for the win from there. Rob Klinkhammer was credited with the other Coyotes goal.
"This is a very tough building to win in," said Coyotes forward Shane Doan. "You look throughout the year and you see a lot of teams that you know and it's big to get two points coming out of here."
The Coyotes received a tremendous effort in net from Thomas Greiss, who made 36 saves and helped No. 1 netminder Mike Smith rest. Greiss stopped an Adam Hall penalty shot in the first period and has a career 7-0 record when facing at least 37 shots in a game during his NHL career.
Phoenix expects to return Smith to the crease on Sunday, although the goaltender hasn't fared well against Carolina during his career, going 2-6-3 with a 3.05 goals against average in 11 career games versus the Hurricanes.
After completing its trek on Sunday, the Coyotes will play three of four and six of their next eight games on home ice.
Carolina is 2-1-2 on the season and will try to bounce back from a shootout loss in its last outing. The Hurricanes hosted Los Angeles on Friday and lost a 2-1 decision after Kings sniper Jeff Carter recorded the lone goal in the shootout.
L.A. opened the scoring on Dwight King's shorthanded tally with 6:34 left in the third period, but Jeff Skinner tied it with a power-play goal just 40 seconds later.
Cam Ward matched Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick for the majority of night, turning aside 36-of-37 shots in a hard-luck loss. Quick stopped all three Carolina attempts in the shootout phase, while Carter beat Ward with a backhand shot.
It was the second straight one-goal game for Carolina, which earned a 3-2 regulation win Thursday night in Washington.
"I thought it was a real gutsy effort for our guys coming off of that hard- fought game in Washington last night (a 3-2 Carolina win)," said Hurricanes head coach Kirk Muller. "I think that's a game that shows our team's growing together. Obviously we didn't get that extra point, but three out of four [points], that's pretty good."
Hurricanes rookie centerman Elias Lindholm suffered an upper-body injury in Friday's game and is expected to miss Sunday's contest. Lindholm, who Carolina selected with the fifth overall pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, has one goal in his first five games as an NHLer this season.
Friday's test against L.A. marked the start of a three-game homestand for the Hurricanes, who are 1-0-2 in Raleigh this season. Carolina will complete its homestand with Tuesday's meeting against Chicago.
Phoenix has taken two of three and six of the last nine encounters with the Hurricanes overall and has won two in a row in Raleigh.
10/13 10:32:26 ET