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Hurricanes edge Coyotes in shootout

by Jerry Brown

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward had lost all four of his previous shootouts this season, so he was due for a little good luck. It all came at once.

Elias Lindholm scored the only goal of the shootout and two of the Arizona Coyotes' three shooters hit the post, enabling the Hurricanes to end a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory Thursday at Gila River Arena.

"It's nice to get rewarded in the shootout. It's no secret that we've had some difficulties in the shootout, especially with myself," said Ward, who made 28 saves through 65 minutes before Lucas Lessio, Sam Gagner and Antoine Vermette were unable to score on him in the shootout.

Lessio deked Ward and had him beaten, but the puck rolled on him and he hit the right post. Gagner lost control of the puck as he prepared to shoot and essentially rolled a shot into Ward's pads. Vermette ended the game when he drilled the same post Lessio hit.

"I don't have a whole lot of [shootout wins] in my career," said Ward, who is 11-29 all-time in tiebreakers. "I definitely got undressed on that first one (by Lessio) but I like to think that I scared him away. I took a deep breath and tried to blow it away.

"But it was about time we got lucky. I've been working on it with (goalie coach) Dave Marcoux, trying to improve."

Lindholm, who scored two goals in the Hurricanes' 3-0 win in Raleigh on Nov. 1, made a deke that drew Arizona goaltender Mike Smith out of position and slid the puck into the net on the Hurricanes' first attempt in the tiebreaker.

The Coyotes (19-26-7) are 0-for-9 in their past three shootout games and haven't scored in the tiebreaker since Shane Doan's stick exploded and the puck found its way past Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen on Dec. 27.

"We've had too many shootouts this year when we haven't scored," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "It's pretty hard to win then when you don't."

Center Victor Rask scored for Carolina (18-26-7) and forward David Moss matched him for Arizona in the first period. The teams went the final 53:22 of regulation and another five minutes in overtime without a goal.

Smith made 39 saves for Arizona, which played at home for the first time in 21 days after playing a franchise-record eight straight road games. The Coyotes earned at least a point for the fifth time in six games (3-1-2).

The Hurricanes played almost the entire game with five defenseman. Ryan Murphy took a stick to the face from Arizona forward Lauri Korpikoski midway through the first period and appeared to get his left knee twisted on the way down. He was helped off the ice and did not return. Korpikoski was assessed a double minor for high sticking, but the Hurricanes couldn't capitalize.

The teams traded goals in the first 6:38 of the opening period.

Carolina pounced on a few Coyote turnovers early and took the lead 1:03 after the opening faceoff. Defenseman Ron Hainsey put a shot on net from the left circle that Rask was able to deflect past Smith from just outside the crease at the left post. It was his seventh goal of the season and first in nine games.

"We got one on the first shift, so it was good," Rask said. "We have to have a better first period, but it was nice to find a way to win."

The Coyotes answered and ended a much longer scoring drought in the process.

Defenseman Keith Yandle wasn't able to convert Kyle Chipchura's centering pass, but he ran down the loose puck and fed Moss in the slot. Jeff Skinner got his stick on the shot, but it had enough left to flutter over Ward's stick at 6:38. Moss' goal was his first in 30 games this season; he hadn't scored since April 13, 2014, when he had a goal against the Dallas Stars.

"David is a great teammate and genuinely well-liked in the room," Tippett said. "They were genuinely happy for him. He's been around it and been snake-bit. Hopefully that's the sign of big things to come from him."

Yandle's assist gives him seven during a five-game point streak. He has 11 assists in his past 10 games.

The game remained tied through a scoreless second that featured sloppy play and few scoring chances.

"It was sloppy," Tippett said. "It was so sloppy, it was almost entertaining. [Assistant coach] Newell Brown keeps track of turnovers and I think we had 25 in the second period. We figured whoever capitalizes on one of these turnovers is going to win the game."

But no one did. Smith made a nice save on Andrej Nestrasil early in the third period and Ward matched him by stopping Arizona's Brendan Shinnimin with 11:26 left and Korpikoski and Vermette in the final 1:30 of regulation.

Carolina had the best scoring chance in overtime, but Smith robbed Justin Faulk by stretching far to the left post to make a skate save with 1:45 left.

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