Hot and cold collide when the Carolina Hurricanes continue their extended road trip with a visit to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.
The Hurricanes have won each of the first three games on a six-game trip that criss-crosses the country from Los Angeles to New York. A 4-2 victory on the road Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings gave the Hurricanes their fourth consecutive win overall.
The current win streak has come after five consecutive defeats, although Carolina went to overtime in four of those games. It means the Hurricanes have earned points in nine of their last 10 games (5-1-4).
Martin Necas had a goal and an assist against the Kings as the Hurricanes led 3-0 at 14:11 of the second period. Necas scored his 12th goal of the season on the power play with 19 seconds remaining in the first period and leads the Hurricanes with 28 points this season.
Sebastian Aho scored his 10th of the season off a Necas pass to give Carolina a three-goal lead. Aho is second on the team with 26 points.
Pyotr Kochetkov made 31 saves and is now 8-1-3 in 12 career games (10 starts) with a 2.30 goals-against average.
The Hurricanes were 1-for-3 on the power play Saturday and have scored six times in their past 15 power plays over their last five games. Despite the recent success with the man advantage, the Hurricanes were 27th in power-play percentage at 18.0 entering NHL play Monday.
“Our mentality right now is shoot it to the net because before we were struggling a little bit with that,” said Andrei Svechnikov, who also scored a goal Saturday. “Right now, we’re just trying to make a simple play.”
The Ducks have been woefully inept again this season at 6-17-3, with an NHL-worst 15 points. Anaheim has just one win in regulation time and is riding a six-game losing streak (0-4-2). The Ducks also have a separate seven-game losing streak this season.
Anthony Stolarz has started two of the Ducks’ last three games in goal ahead of John Gibson, but neither goalie has fared well behind a porous Anaheim defense. The Ducks have allowed five goals in five of the last six games, including three consecutive contests.
The Ducks actually built a 2-0 lead Sunday at Winnipeg on goals from Jakob Silfverberg and Brett Leason, but the Jets scored five times against Stolarz all after the midway point of the second period.
“Morale is good,” Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins said on the Bally Sports West broadcast. “After a tough (loss at Minnesota), guys came in here and fought hard. I was actually quite worried about (Sunday’s) game and how we were going to come out with the amount of travel we’ve had this season … but our guys continue to come in every day with good attitudes.”
Anaheim returns home after going 0-2-2 on a four-game road trip and has a pair of home games this week before departing on a five-game trip, with four of those games in Canada.
The teams are meeting for the first time this season, with the Hurricanes winning both matchups last season, including a 5-2 victory in April.
–Field Level Media