SANTA MONICA - The Carolina Hurricanes are set for a three-game tour of California, beginning with a Sunday night match-up against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Canes' weeklong road trip then continues through San Jose and Anaheim before the team returns back east.
A Full 60
Head coach Rod Brind'Amour talked on Friday morning about the Hurricanes needed to rediscover the recipe that makes them successful. The team did just that in the first period against the Anaheim Ducks, taking a 1-0 lead to the locker room with a 21-6 edge in shots on goal.
That 1-0 lead came courtesy a goal from Andrei Svechnikov, a laser snap shot through the five hole of an otherwise impenetrable John Gibson.
The Canes held that 1-0 lead until the last few minutes of regulation, when the Ducks scored on the lucky bounce for which they had been searching. Pontus Aberg slid in to whack a puck out of mid-air, just below the crossbar. Captain Ryan Getzlaf then secured the extra point for his team, scoring on a breakaway in 3-on-3 overtime.
"The majority of the game was pretty positive. The start, which is crucial for me, was excellent. To me, we should have put that game away in the first," Brind'Amour said after the team's practice in Raleigh on Saturday. "We didn't score. Their goalie was the difference in the game, keeping them in.:"
The difference between two points and one, a tough-luck lesson of competing for a full 60 minutes.
"We know if we play a full 60 minutes we're going to be fine," Justin Faulk said. "We all know that we've got to have everyone on board every night."
Getting Healthy on D
Brett Pesce, who has missed the Canes' last eight games with a lower-body injury, and Haydn Fleury, who has been sidelined for the last three games with a concussion, were both activated from injured reserve before the Canes departed for California. In a corresponding move, Jake Bean was reassigned to Charlotte.
"Hopefully they'll both be ready to go," Brind'Amour said of his defensemen.
After posting a 1-2-0 record in a tour of western Canada, the Kings return home for a four-game homestand, where the team is 5-8-1 this season. The Kings currently occupy last place in the league with 19 points (9-15-1) through 26 games.
"They're all important," Brind'Amour said of Sunday's tilt. "It sets the tone. If we can get off to a good start on the trip, you want to keep the vibes going in the right direction."
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Find Your Legs
After flying across the country on Saturday, the Hurricanes will need to find their legs early in this contest, the first of three games this week in California.
2. Off and Running
Just as it is in every game, the start is paramount. Against Anaheim on Friday night, the Canes had a solid start, established their game and took a 1-0 lead to the locker room. A similar start tonight will be key on the road.
3. Power Up
The Hurricanes' man advantage was 0-for-6 in its last game, with plenty of chances to stretch their 1-0 lead. It's crucial for this team to take advantage of power-play opportunities when given to them.
WORTH A CLICK
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