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Faulk scores twice, Hurricanes defeat Kings

by Kurt Dusterberg /

RALEIGH, N.C. -- If you ask Justin Faulk about his power-play touch, he doesn't have much of an explanation for why all eight of his goals have come on the man-advantage.

"Just trying to shoot and get pucks on net," Faulk said after scoring twice in the Carolina Hurricanes' 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. "If it goes in, it goes in. Just trying to do the same thing every time; create momentum, create chances."

The Hurricanes (10-7-3), who entered the game as the lowest-scoring team in the NHL, scored more than three goals for the second time this season and ended a five-game losing streak (0-2-3).

"Hopefully it's a confidence builder, for the power play and keeping the lead going into the third period," said right wing Kris Versteeg, who had two assists. "That's always nice when you get rewarded for a lot of hard effort."

Defenseman Brett Pesce started the scoring for the Hurricanes with his first NHL goal. His slap shot from inside the blue line appeared to deflect off the stick of Tanner Pearson before fluttering under the glove of Jonathan Quick at 3:31.

Pesce, a first-year pro, has been a fixture in the Carolina lineup for all 13 games since his call-up. Like most young players who score their first NHL goal, he was quick to give credit to the people who made the moment possible.

"I'm sure I've got a few texts from my parents," the 21-year-old said. "They're the ones I have to thank. They've been with me since day one, carting me around since I was yay-high. So I'm thankful for them."

Carolina made it 2-0 on Jeff Skinner's fourth of the season early in the second period. After Pesce shot wide, Skinner collected the rebound behind the goal line and banked the puck off Quick's blocker at 1:48.

The Hurricanes pushed the advantage to three goals when Faulk, a defenseman, scored on a wrist shot under the crossbar on a 5-on-3 power play at 4:26. After Drew Doughty went off for interference, Anze Kopitar was whistled for delay of game on the ensuing faceoff.

"Generally if you give a team a 5-on-3, they're going to score," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "A couple of faceoff goals, a couple penalties. (That's) the difference in the game."

Dustin Brown cut into the Carolina lead when he scored on a penalty shot at 13:02. With Brown pursuing a loose puck in the crease, Noah Hanifin covered the puck with his hand. Brown came in slowly on Cam Ward before drawing him across the crease and scoring past the glove.

Less than two minutes later, Kopitar scored unassisted to make it 3-2 at 14:00. He recovered Faulk's errant clearing pass and scored on a wrist shot to the far post.

"I kind of let them back in there with the second goal," said Faulk, Carolina's leading scorer with 15 points. "Good of the guys to respond and keep pushing and playing the way we were."

Faulk scored again on the power play at 17:46 to extend the Hurricanes' lead to 4-2. Quick stopped Faulk's slap shot, but defenseman Alec Martinez stepped on the loose puck in the crease and pushed it into the net.

“There are probably four or five guys in the League that (opposing players) don’t quite find the shooting lane on because it hurts (to block the shot). Faulk is in that group,” Carolina coach Bill Peters said. “He has a quick release, guys are putting it in good spots for him and he keeps shooting it.”

Jhonas Enroth replaced Quick (17 saves) to start the third period.

"They scored four goals in (21) shots," Sutter said. "That's not good enough."

The Kings (12-8-0) lost their second straight game for the first time since losing the first three games of the season.

Kopitar cut Carolina's lead to 4-3 with a power-play goal at 9:15. His low shot from the right point beat Ward (26 saves) under the pads.

Two nights after squandering a late lead and losing 2-1 in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Hurricanes held on down the stretch against the Kings. Ward made his best save of the night on a Doughty wrist shot from the circle; a right-toe save with Brown waiting on the doorstep for the rebound.

After averaging 34 shots on goal during their five-game slide, the Hurricanes have something to show for their offensive efforts.

"I believe in our group and I like the way we are going," Peters said. "It was a full 60 minutes. We need to be hungry for points and we found the way to get some today and score some goals."

Carolina forward Nathan Gerbe left the game at 13:00 of the first period and did not return after a big hit by Kyle Clifford in the corner. He left the ice without putting weight on his right leg.

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