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Hagelin, Ducks top Hurricanes; Hanifin scores 1st goal

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carl Hagelin had a goal and two assists, and Anton Khudobin made 24 saves to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Monday.

Hagelin came into the game with one goal and one assist in 17 games. With expectations that he would provide secondary scoring for Anaheim, the former New York Rangers forward was beginning to feel the pressure.

"I talked to some of my closest friends and family members," Hagelin said. "We all just agreed that I need to go after the puck a little bit more and do my thing, use my skating as much as possible. I came excited to this game. I wanted to prove I was a better player."

The Ducks (6-8-4) struck first at 11:23 of the first period on Shawn Horcoff's third goal of the season. Horcoff got position on Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk in the slot and redirected Hagelin's centering pass. Andrew Cogliano started the play by holding in goalie Eddie Lack's clearing attempt along the boards.

The newly-formed line of Cogliano-Horcoff-Hagelin accounted for seven points.

"I thought we did a really good job being in on the forecheck," Horcoff said. "Once we got it, we did a really good job hanging on to it. We really could have got a lot more than we did tonight. Hopefully that's a good sign, and hopefully we start getting some confidence and get that going."

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf scored an empty net goal, his first of the season, which sealed the win.

"When you're pressing and taking shots that aren't there, you start forcing things a little bit," Getzlaf said. "It was great to get out there and get the empty netter."

Anaheim goaltender Anton Khudobin had 24 saves in his first start against his former team, after playing the past two seasons in Carolina.

"To be honest, it's just a 'W' for my team," said Khudobin, who was traded Anaheim on June 27. Carolina replaced him with Lack. "The only thing is, I was facing (many) players I played with not long ago. Same colors, same rink."

For Khudobin, a well-liked teammate in Carolina, the game felt unusual when he took the ice.

"At the start of the first period, it felt like we were playing the second period, because I'm in the other net," he said with a smile. "But we are finding our game right now and getting back in rhythm. The way we played today was pretty good."

Getzlaf was happy with Khudobin's performance.

"He went out and played well," Getzlaf said. "I don't know what that's like to go back to an old building. I imagine it's a little nerve-racking but he hung in there and made some great saves for us."

Noah Hanifin tied the game for Carolina (6-10-2) with his first NHL goal at 3:38 of the second period. The 18-year-old defenseman took a short pass from Joakim Nordstrom and blasted a low shot inside the left post. Hanifin was selected fifth in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Sami Vatanen put Anaheim ahead 2-1 when he beat Lack past the blocker to the far post. Getzlaf won a battle with Faulk along the boards before sending a cross-ice pass for the score.

Hagelin scored his second of the season at 16:11 of the third period on a wraparound shot that went between Lack's pads.

After a 1-7-1 start, the Ducks have now reversed course, posting a 5-1-2 record since the start of November.

"Even when there were pockets where we didn't do much, I thought when push came to shove, we were good defensively and Khudobin was there when we needed him."

The Hurricanes have nine of 13 games at home this month but are 1-4-2.

"We've got to keep playing," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "There's lots of hockey left. We've got to find a way to score more. We need our defense involved more; that's obvious to me. We don't have a 5-on-5 goal from our defense. I think they skate well enough to support the rush and make us more dangerous."

Carolina has scored 12 goals in its past seven games.

"We would have like to have been better on this home stand," defenseman John-Michael Liles said. "If we get one, we're struggling to get two. If we get two, we're struggling to get three. It's not a fun feeling. It's got to be the guys in the room rallying around each other."

The Ducks started a four-game road trip on a high note. They will play the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

"We wanted to make a statement," Hagelin said. "We wanted to show everyone we're better than we've been. Good start, now we have to build on that."

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