Randy Jones made his debut with the Los Angeles Kings a memorable one.
Jones, who was claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 29 but hadn't dressed in the previous five games, had a goal and an assist on Wednesday night to lead his new club to a 5-2 victory against the reeling Carolina Hurricanes at the RBCCenter.
Tuomo Ruutu scored twice for Carolina, which is now winless in its last 13 games. Ruutu tied the game at 2-2 with just under 16 minutes remaining on a snap shot from the left circle for his second goal of the night. But Jones restored the Kings' lead with 13:19 remaining when he took a pretty across-the-crease feed from ex-Hurricane Justin Williams and tapped it past newcomer Manny Legace.
''I was just trying to get to the net and give (Williams) an outlet pass,'' said Jones, who helped L.A. snap a two-game skid. ''The guy's got great vision.''
Williams, Wayne Simmonds and Ryan Smyth each added a goal and an assist, for the Kings, who moved within four points of the first-place San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division. Jarret Stoll also scored and Anze Kopitar had two assists to give him a League-leading 30 points.
''We were aware of (the Hurricanes' losing streak), but we had our own pressure on ourselves to get off our two-game skid,'' Kings captain Dustin Brown said. ''It was about getting back to playing well.''
Carolina, which played its first full game without injured goalie Cam Ward, went more than 18 minutes between shots on goal and was held to fewer than three goals for the eighth consecutive game. The Hurricanes have lost seven straight in regulation, are on their longest slide (0-10-3) since relocating to North Carolina and are one winless game from matching the club record of 14 straight (0-8-6) set in 1992 when the franchise was based in Hartford.
''We have to fight like the last 20 minutes for 60 (minutes), and then harder, and then some,'' coach Paul Maurice said. ''We're just not willing or seem like (the players) fully appreciate, when you're undermanned, exactly how hard you have to fight.''
Legace stopped 26 shots in his first start with Carolina after starting the season with the AHL Chicago Wolves. Ward is expected to be out for roughly four weeks after suffering a deep cut to his left leg in last week's loss at Columbus. Ward and injured center Eric Staal were simultaneously out of the lineup for the first time since March 19, 2004.
"I just didn't make a big save in the third period to give our guys a chance to win,'' Legace said.
Erik Ersberg didn't show any signs of rust for Los Angeles despite making just his second start of the season. He finished with 22 saves.
''I played one game all season, so it was easy to keep track,'' Ersberg joked. ''I don't count more backwards than that.''
Material from wire services was used in this report
|PPG - Ryan Smyth (9) Backhand shot - ASST: Dustin Brown (11), Anze Kopitar (15)|
1 - 0 LAK
|Jarret Stoll (5) Deflected shot - ASST: Randy Jones (1), Wayne Simmonds (6)|
2 - 0 LAK
|Tuomo Ruutu (3) Snap shot - ASST: Rod Brind'Amour (5), Sergei Samsonov (5)|
2 - 1 LAK
|Tuomo Ruutu (4) Snap shot - ASST: Ray Whitney (5), Andrew Alberts (2)|
2 - 2 Tie
|PPG - Randy Jones (1) Tip-in - ASST: Justin Williams (10), Alex Frolov (10)|
3 - 2 LAK
|Wayne Simmonds (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Alex Frolov (11), Michal Handzus (4)|
4 - 2 LAK
|EN - Justin Williams (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Ryan Smyth (13), Anze Kopitar (16)|
5 - 2 LAK
|Matt Cullen Boarding against Rob Scuderi|
|Bryan Rodney Tripping against Brad Richardson|
|Joe Corvo Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Peter Harrold Elbowing against Jussi Jokinen|
|Tom Kostopoulos Interference on goalkeeper against Erik Ersberg|
|Scott Walker Roughing against Drew Doughty|
|Wayne Simmonds Interference against Rod Brind'Amour|