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Recap: Lack, Rask Lead Canes Past Wild

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes / CarolinaHurricanes.com

Analysis from Raleigh

→ A late third-period goal from Victor Rask and 30 saves from Eddie Lack lifted the Carolina Hurricanes over the Minnesota Wild, 3-1.

"I felt pretty good out there. I saw the puck well," Lack said. "It wasn't always pretty technically and everything like that, but I felt like I battled. It's two huge points for us."

"It was good. It was a tight game through 40. There wasn't much going on. We had a power-play goal, they had a shorthanded goal," head coach Bill Peters said. "It was a dogfight out there."

Video: Lack's 30 saves help Hurricanes edge Wild, 3-1

→ With just 3:24 left in regulation, Rask emerged from the corner, lowered the shoulder and slid the puck through Devan Dubnyk's exposed five-hole. His 16th goal of the season broke a 1-1 stalemate that had existed since the first period.

"He made an amazing play and put it in," said Elias Lindholm, who recorded the primary assist on the play. "It's always nice to see it go in and be a part of the goal."

"It was a strong move to the net, which was very nice to see," Peters said.

Teuvo Teravainen sealed the win with an empty-net goal in the final minutes of play.

→ Lack was named the game's second star, but he put forth a first-star effort.

"He was solid," Peters said. "I just know he was big and square and out challenging. He looked confident."

"It's real fun to see him play this well," Lindholm said. "He saved us a couple times today. All credit to him. He had an amazing game."

It began in the first period on a Wild odd-man rush, when Lack turned away former Hurricane Eric Staal with a blocker save.

"I was actually talking with Jordan before the game, and I was like, 'If Eric's coming down, he's going high blocker for sure,'" Lack said. "It was a good save and it got me going."

Early in the third period, Lack was down and out in the crease and was able to extend his glove arm to deny a sure scoring chance. With about five minutes left to play, he made one, two and three saves in quick succession to get a whistle and preserve the tied score.

"I was on my ass a couple times," Lack said with a laugh. "Sometimes you need to be a little lucky too, and that was the case today."

Lack's last start came on March 7 in Colorado, his second consecutive after making 25 of 26 shots in Arizona. Since then, he's remained focus in waiting for his next start.

"I felt good before that, so I was just trying not to think about it too much, just stay in my bubble and focus on what I've got to do," Lack said. And what goes on in that bubble? "Oh, you don't want to know."

Peters agreed. "The goalie bubble? Stay out of that."

Lack continued: "I was working hard in practice and doing some extra stuff with Dave Marcoux just to keep the feet moving and everything like that. We haven't had a lot of practices lately, so I've been able to go out a little bit by myself with the injured guys just to work on my game. I think that's been good and healthy for me."

Perhaps the Hurricanes will turn back to Lack on Saturday against the Nashville Predators.

"Well, he sure deserves it," Peters said. "I don't know who could screw that decision up, but we'll see."

→ Lindholm is increasingly playing with an edge to his game, and that's an encouraging sign for the fourth-year forward. At one point in the second period, a scuffle broke out after a whistle, and Lindholm was square in the middle of it, helmet popped off as he jockeyed with a group of Wild players.

"I'm getting into my game more and more, and it's a fun part of the game. I enjoy it," he said. "It's fun to be in the heat down there."

"He plays hard. Competitive people make it hard on you. A lot of people want to line up and have an easy night, you know what I mean?" Peters said. "Lindy packs a load. He plays hard and competes. He's hacking and whacking. He's really coming, and I'm really happy with his game."

→ On the power play in the first period, Derek Ryan backhanded in a rebound to open the scoring just four-and-a-half minutes into the game.

Minnesota answered in the latter half of the period, as Mikko Koivu split the defense with a pass to Mikael Granlund, and he finished.

"I wasn't very happy about the way that unfolded at all. Not at all," Peters said. "It's a privilege to be on the power play. You have to outwork the penalty killers. The penalty killers in this league are hard-working, honest men. If you want to go out there and skill your way around on the power play, you're not going to be successful. You've got to use your skill to use your advantage and combine it with hard work. You've got an extra guy. Don't just think you can go out there and coast for a two-minute holiday."

→ The Hurricanes will host the Nashville Predators on Saturday to cap their three-game homestand.

"We're still pushing hard," Peters said. "Out of this five-game segment, we went 3-0-2, which is eight points. The two games we didn't win, we never trailed until the game was over in overtime. It was a good segment and some good teams in there. Now it gets a little tougher with some games on the road, but I like the way we're playing."

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