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Recap: Lack, Ryan Lead Canes to Victory in Arizona

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Analysis from Arizona

→ In their second game against the Arizona Coyotes in a span of three days, the Carolina Hurricanes got the better of the team that beat them at home on Friday. Tied at one heading into the third period, Derek Ryan scored the game-winning goal in the final minutes of the game, and Eddie Lack made 25 saves in a 2-1 Hurricanes win.

"It's always way more fun winning, you know?" Lack said with a big grin. "I felt like I wanted this one tonight."

→ Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters had strong words for Eddie Lack on Friday, calling out the goaltender for his effort in Tampa Bay. Just two days later, Lack had an opportunity to respond with his play on the ice, and he did so with a solid effort. Lack made 25 saves on 26 shots in his third win of the season. Peters said this morning he was looking for Lack to provide his team with a chance to win the game. He did just that, limiting the Coyotes to just a goal, and the Hurricanes found the back of the net for the game-winner late in the third period.

"I'm just trying to take my opportunities when they come and not overthink it," Lack said. "I have so many positive people around me. I got so many phone calls and texts the last couple of days. I just stayed positive and kept working hard in practice. I'm going to keep working hard and keep having fun, and good things will happen."

"He was huge. I thought he really stepped up and played a great game. He made those timely saves," Ryan said. "I thought he really delivered on stepping in for us. I think the whole team had confidence and faith in him."

Lack's signature save came late in the second period on Tobias Rieder's breakaway attempt.

Video: CAR@ARI: Lack turns away Rieder's breakaway in 2nd

"That was huge," Peters said. "It was 1-1 at the time, and we came into the break even instead of down one. That's a big-time save."

For his part, Lack said he didn't approach tonight any differently than he does any other game, and he tried not to put any added pressure on his plate.

"I'm just here doing my job and everything," he said. "I'm trying not to get too caught up in media or whatever. I'm just trying to be here, do my job and work hard."

And Peters? He said he hoped Lack would respond the way he did tonight but said of his comments on Friday, "not my proudest moment."

"Life's a funny thing. We flew here to Arizona yesterday, and guess who parked beside me at the airport? We had a great talk and a great walk from the cars to the plane," Peters said. "I have a lot of respect for his game and a lot of respect for him as a player."

→ It was an odd-man rush that got the game-winning goal sequence started. Jeff Skinner was looking to dish the puck over to Lee Stempniak on the rush, but it ended up bouncing off the stick of the sliding Coyotes' defenseman, hitting the crossbar and ricocheting back into the blue paint. Ryan crashed the net and whacked in the free puck.

"It definitely felt good to get that one. Kind of a lucky one," Ryan said. "Skinny and Stemper on a 2-on-1 is pretty dangerous. I think he tried to make a pass there. I'm not exactly sure what happened to be honest. I think it hit a stick and went off the bar and just kind of laid there. I came in and picked up the trash."

Video: CAR@ARI: Ryan cashes in on loose puck in the crease

Go to the net and good things happen, they say.

"For sure. I think I've said that in a lot of interviews: if you want to score in this league, you've got to go to the net," Ryan said. "Sometimes it's hard to get there, but when you do, it pays off."

"[Mike Smith] is a tough guy to beat," Peters said. "We beat him on a deflection and a strange, broken play. Let's call it that. A weird goal. That's how you've got to beat Smitty."

→ Following a scoreless first period, the Coyotes broke through early in the second period. Lack accepted an initial shot, but the puck leaked through his arm. Peter Holland located the loose puck in the blue paint and deposited it in the back of the net for the first goal of the game.

Video: CAR@ARI: Teravainen finds twine with quick redirect

Not even 90 seconds later, the Hurricanes answered to draw the score even at one, as Jaccob Slavin's point shot was redirected in the slot by Teuvo Teravainen. Slavin has now recorded assists in four straight games. And his defensive game isn't too bad either, if you ask Lack, who said the team defense in front of him was "huge," as always.

"Slavin is turning into an All Star here," Lack said. "It's really fun seeing him progressing."

→ The Hurricanes lost the services of Phi Di Giuseppe just past the midway point of tonight's second period. It was announced just prior to the third period that Di Giuseppe would not return to the game due to an upper-body injury. 

"I know he wanted to play, but they didn't think so," Peters said, adding that he had no further update on Di Giuseppe's condition.

→ This two-game jaunt out West wraps up on Tuesday in Colorado.

"We need to continue to play fast," Ryan said. "That's the way we can beat teams."

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