HURRICANES (6-9-3) at KINGS (10-5-4)
Just over two weeks ago in Raleigh, the Carolina Hurricanes topped the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in what was the team’s second victory in a string of five straight to begin the month of November.
Thursday night in Los Angeles, the Hurricanes will look to sweep the two-game season series and again string together consecutive wins.
The Canes busted a three-game losing skid on Tuesday night in Dallas with a wild 6-4 victory, and they bring a 6-3-1 November record into Los Angeles.
“I thought it was good, and I thought we played well,” head coach Bill Peters said on Wednesday after practice, looking back on the win in Dallas. “We had good, quality chances in the middle of the game. I would have liked to control the third period a little better than we did, but hopefully we learn from that the next time we’re in that situation.”
A four-goal second-period helped lift the Canes to victory on Tuesday. It was their first four-goal period since Jan. 25, 2014 in a 6-3 win over Ottawa.
The Kings’ offense has also been quite potent as of late. They come into tonight’s contest having scored five goals in three of their last five games, and they’re riding a two-game winning streak after topping Anaheim 3-2 in overtime and Florida 5-2.
The Hurricanes practiced with the same forward trios that saw the ice in Dallas. Peters has been looking for a right winger to complement center Eric Staal, who had two big third-period goals en route to earning the fireman’s helmet on Tuesday. Currently, Elias Lindholm is that winger.
“With lines you’re always looking for pairs, and then you get that third guy in there. With the Nash line, we went with Gerbe and Lindy for quite a while, and then it went a little bit dry, so we shook it up,” Peters said. “You’re not going to leave three guys together for 82 games. For the foreseeable future, we’ll play Staalsy and Lindy together and see how it goes.”
Cam Ward will get the start in net, his ninth start in the month of November, a month in which Ward has posted six wins, a 1.88 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. Ward is 3-0-2 with a 1.78 goals-against average in five career appearances against Los Angeles.
NOTES: Eric Staal and Alexander Semin are each one point shy of milestone markers: 700 career points for Staal and 500 for Semin. … Ron Hainsey’s next game played will be his 100th in a Hurricanes sweater. … Eight of the last 10 meetings between these two teams have been decided by one goal.