Mighty Ducks-Hurricanes Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (12-15-4-5) at Carolina Hurricanes (12-14-8-2).
TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
A coaching change may not have helped the Carolina Hurricanes score more
goals, but it has helped them win more.
Carolina hopes to win its season-high third straight when the Anaheim Mighty
Ducks make their only appearance of the season at the RBC Center.
Since Peter Laviolette replaced Paul Maurice as head coach, the Hurricanes
have won four of six games despite scoring just 10 goals. They have moved
within five points of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Generating offense remains the team's biggest concern, but Carolina is 4-0
in one-goal games under Laviolette -- all by 2-1 scores -- after going 3-5-0-2
Ron Francis and Bret Hedican scored second-period goals and Kevin Weekes
made 15 of his 21 saves over the final two periods Monday, leading the
Hurricanes to their second straight win, 2-1 over Buffalo.
"You can't expect to go into February and March and play .750 hockey and
hope all the other teams play below .500. It's just too tough," Carolina's
Jeff O'Neill said. "We've got to try to make our hay now and get ourselves
right in the thick of this thing."
Francis' goal was his 1,771st career point, tying him with Marcel Dionne for
fourth place on the career list.
"The guys are working hard and it's nice to get it in a game that helps us
win," Francis said. "That's the most special part about it."
Working with almost no room for error, Hurricanes goalie Kevin Weekes is
quietly having an outstanding season. His 1.96 goals-against average is third
in the league among goalies who have played 20 or more games.
Anaheim snapped a 13-game road winless streak Monday with a 2-0 victory over
Jean-Sebastien Giguere recorded his second shutout in four games for the
Ducks, who had lost six straight on the road and were 0-8-2-3 away from home
since winning at Washington on Oct. 29.
"Hopefully this will get us jump-started and we will look back on this win
in the future," Giguere said. "The more we win, the more we will get used to
Anaheim is also having problems on offense, scoring two goals or fewer in
seven straight games.