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'CANES UNBEATEN STREAK ENDS AT NINE

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
In all-star defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh’s return to the lineup, the Carolina Hurricanes did something they have not done since Dec. 29—they lost, 6-3 to the Los Angeles Kings. The loss snapped a nine-game unbeaten streak, during which Carolina went 7-0-2-0 and recorded its first three-game win streak of the 2000-01 season.

The Hurricanes led 2-1 at the end of the first period behind the scoring of winger Jeff O’Neill. O’Neill’s two goals were his 20th and 21st of the season and the first was his 12th power-play goal, which moved him into fourth place on the NHL power play goals list.

Regardless of O’Neill’s efforts, the Kings came back with three second period goals and held Carolina scoreless.

With the game tied 2-2, Ozolinsh and center Rod Brind’Amour were each whistled for penalties within 51 seconds of each other. In the ensuing 5-on-3 scenario, Los Angeles’ power play unit--ranked second overall in the NHL at 22.4 percent--attacked. Kings captain Rob Blake slipped a slapshot through the Hurricanes’ penalty killing unit and past goaltender Arturs Irbe to take the lead, 3-2.

“At 2-2, we got ourselves in a position where we were in a little trouble because we took a penalty and went down two men, and that’s the wrong team to be down two men on,” said Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice. “We turned over the puck twice and it’s in the net. We haven’t done a lot of that, or when we have we’ve gotten the save, but we just gave them enough chances. And they were good on them.”

At 17:42 of the second, Los Angeles winger Ziggy Palffy scored his second goal of the game, which proved to be the game-winner.

Hurricanes defenseman Dave Karpa scored Carolina’s final goal of the game on the power play at 14:22 of the third period. Los Angeles held on for the remaining 5 1/2 minutes and winger Nelson Emerson scored an empty net goal with 44 seconds left.

Ozolinsh, playing in his first game since the Hurricanes’ 4-3 win against the New York Rangers on December 27, finished the game with a minus-3 plus / minus ranking and did not score a point. Ozolinsh was on the ice for three of Los Angeles’ goals, including Emerson’s empty netter.

“I was minus-3 in the game and definitely feel that I was one of the reasons why we lost the game,” said Ozolinsh.

Ozoinsh’s fellow defenseman Glen Wesley played in his 1,000th game Saturday. He looks for Ozolinsh’s play to improve in coming games.

“When you’re out for 10 games, you don’t feel like you’ve been part of the team, so it’s very difficult in that situation,” said Wesley. "The easiest thing you can do is not try to do too much. That’s a lesson we all can learn, and hopefully Sandis can get back to the way he was playing and step in for us.”

Maurice still feels that the Hurricanes are in a good place despite having their unbeaten streak broken.

“I think they’ve enjoyed more than anything the way that we’ve played as a team,” said Maurice. “We’ve got a foundation built. I think they are aware that we fell short today. I think we are still in a good place.”

Hurricanes goaltender Arturs Irbe started his 32nd consecutive game and appeared in his 33rd consecutive game. Irbe had not allowed five goals in a game since the Hurricanes lost at Montreal, 5-2 on Oct. 21.

1st2nd3rdTOTAL
Los Angeles1326
Carolina2013

First Period: Scoring: 1, Los Angeles, Palffy 23 (Smolinski, Stumpel),1:57. 2, Carolina, Oneill 20 (power play) (Kapanen, Francis), 11:03. 3,Carolina, Oneill 21 (Francis, Kapanen), 14:57. Penalties: Battaglia, Car(high sticking), 3:53; Visnovsky, L.A. (Hooking), 10:27; Karpa, Car(holding), 12:41.
Second Period: Scoring: 4, Los Angeles, Blake 16 (power play) (MSchneider, Palffy), 12:37. 5, Los Angeles, Reinprecht 11 (shorthanded)(Emerson), 16:19. 6, Los Angeles, Palffy 24 (Stumpel, Visnovsky), 17:42.Penalties: Ozolinsh, Car (cross checking), 11:17; Brindamour, Car (highsticking), 12:08; Grimson, L.A. (Roughing), 15:14; Blake, L.A. (Fightingmajor), 18:03; Battaglia, Car (fighting major), 18:03.
Third Period: Scoring: 7, Los Angeles, Smolinski 16 (G Murray,Visnovsky), 10:31. 8, Carolina, Karpa 3 (power play) (Brindamour,Gelinas), 14:22. 9, Los Angeles, Emerson 6 (empty net) (unassisted),19:16. Penalties: Grimson, L.A. (Roughing), 3:10; Visnovsky, L.A. (Holdingstick), 12:27; Modry, L.A. (High sticking), 19:53.

SHOTS ON GOAL

Los Angeles1177--25
Carolina

10
11
4
--25

Power-play Conversions: Los - 1 of 4, Car - 2 of 5. Goalies: LosAngeles, Storr (25 shots, 22 saves; record: 16-12-5). Carolina, Irbe (24,19; record: 19-15-6). A:13,009. Referees: Gregson, Kowal. Linesmen:Morin, D Mccourt.

INDIVIDUAL PLAYER STATISTICS

Los AngelesCarolina
GA+/-ShotsGA+/-Shots
Belanger
Berg
Blake
Buchberger
Corkum
Emerson
G Murray
Grimson
Laperriere
M Schneider
Modry
Norstrom
Palffy
Reinprecht
Robitaille
Smolinski
Stumpel
Visnovsky
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
0
1
2
2
even
even
+3
even
even
+2
even
+1
+1
even
+2
+2
+2
+2
even
+1
+2
+1
0
3
1
1
0
2
3
0
0
2
1
1
5
1
1
2
1
1
Battaglia
Brindamour
Dimaio
Francis
G Wesley
Gelinas
J Daniels
Kapanen
Karpa
Langdon
Malik
Oneill
Ozolinsh
T Westlund
Tanabe
Vasicek
Wallin
Willis
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-1
-2
-1
even
even
-2
even
-2
-2
even
-3
-2
-3
even
even
-2
even
-1
0
2
0
1
0
2
1
4
1
0
1
4
1
2
3
1
1
1

Post Game Quotes
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Los Angeles Kings
January 20, 2001

Carolina Head Coach Paul Maurice:

On the game:
“At 2-2, we got ourselves in a position where we were in a little trouble because we took a penalty and went down two men and that’s the wrong team to be down two men on. We turned over the puck twice, and it’s in the net. We haven’t done a lot of that, or when we have we’ve gotten the save, but we just gave them enough chances, and they were good on them.”

On Sandis Ozolinsh:
“In some things he was good. I thought he was strong on his leg. I didn’t think his knee was bothering him. He was out of sync a little bit, but not real bad. …It really doesn’t matter because he is a great hockey player and he’s going to be in our lineup when he is healthy. It’s not like you’re taking Glen Wesley out of the lineup so Sandis can come in.”

On the unbeaten streak:
“I think they’ve enjoyed more than anything the way that we’ve played as a team. We’ve got a foundation built. … I think they are aware that we fell short today. I think we are still in a good place.”

Kings Head Coach Andy Murray:

On the game:
“Carolina’s been playing so very well, it’s just a good feeling to beat them.”

On being down 2-1:
“It’s not very often that we get held to one goal in a game, so you have to believe that if your reduce the scoring chances at the other end of the ice, that you’re eventually going to get some opportunities. That was just a great five-on-three goal to get us back rolling again and a couple of nice goals by Palffy and Smolinski there. I thought we played real well in the third period.”

On special teams:
“I thought we had a lot of different contributors today. If you look at the different aspects of our game today. We got a shorthanded goal, a power play goal. We did some good things.

“We kind of got caught in a couple of bad changes and didn’t get the job done around the net a couple of times, but really played well in the third period when they were really going to force the issue.”

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