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Eddie Lack criticized for play by Hurricanes coach

Bill Peters says struggling goalie's starts could be limited rest of season

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Eddie Lack has some work to do to get back in the good graces of coach Bill Peters.

After their morning skate Friday, Peters was critical of Lack, who allowed four goals on 16 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

Peters was asked if the final 22 games of the regular season, starting against the Arizona Coyotes on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-SE, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV) would amount to an open competition between Lack and Cam Ward.

"I don't think it's much of a competition," Peters said. "Eddie's played 10 games and he was poor in his last outing, let's not kid ourselves. We've got a guy who is well ahead of the other guy, and the numbers back that up. That's what I see.

"Look up any goalie that's played 10 games in the National Hockey League in the top 60 in save percentage. I know who's 60, and there's 30 teams. Not good enough."

Video: CGY@CAR: Gaudreau slides puck five-hole on Lack

Lack has played 10 games this season, partly because of a concussion, but has struggled when healthy. He is 2-4-2 with a 3.33 goals-against average and an .873 save percentage that ranks 60th among 60 goaltenders to play at least 10 games.

In 49 games, Ward is 21-19-8 with a 2.64 GAA and .905 save percentage.

The Hurricanes led the Lightning 2-1 going into the third period, but Lack allowed goals to Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov that put the Lightning ahead 3-2. Jay McClement scored for the Hurricanes to tie the game, but the Victor Hedman of the Lightning scored 46 seconds into overtime.

Video: CAR@TBL: Hedman snaps in his second goal for OT win

"Your teammates are out there working [hard]," Peters said. "You better get some saves, and a timely save at the right time. It wouldn't hurt."

Lack sustained a concussion in practice Nov. 21 and didn't play again until Feb. 7. In five games since returning, he's 1-2-1 with a 2.89 GAA and .890 save percentage.

He was acquired in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks on June 27, 2015, and the Hurricanes hoped he could push Ward or take over the No. 1 job. But last season, Lack had a 2.81 goals-against average and .901 save percentage in 34 games.

Lack has one season remaining on a two-year contract with an average annual value of $2.75 million, according to CapFriendly.com. He can become an unrestricted free agent after next season.

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