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Hurricanes top Ducks in shootout

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The scoresheet for the Carolina Hurricanes' 3-2 shootout win against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night read like a Who's Who of the American Hockey League's Charlotte Checkers.

Goaltender Justin Peters stopped 28 shots, Drayson Bowman scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, and Riley Nash and Chris Terry connected in the shootout to help the Hurricanes complete a 4-0-1 homestand. Collectively, the four current Hurricanes have seen action in 20 AHL seasons.

"That was an exciting one," said Peters who started all five home games and allowed six goals. "I finally get one for the boys in the shootout. The Charlotte Checkers connection there tonight got a couple goals for us."

The only blemish on Peters' homestand was a 3-2 shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild on Nov. 9 when he allowed three goals on three shots in the tiebreaker.

"I was trying to relax and have a little more fun out there," he said of his play against the Ducks in the tiebreaker. "Sometimes in the shootout you get a little tense. I was able to get one stop, they shot the other one wide, and the boys took care of the rest."

"The boys" are Nash and Terry. Nash scored the Hurricanes' first shootout goal, ringing a shot off the post, then the back of Anaheim goaltender Viktor Fasth before falling into the net. After Corey Perry scored for the Ducks, Terry beat Fasth with a backhander over the glove. Terry has no points in four games during his recall from Charlotte, but he does have a pair of shootout goals.

"I like to see the first shooter go and judge from there what kind of move is going to work on him," Terry said. "I just watched how far he came out when Nash came in, and [Alexander] Semin. I just tried to see laterally how he was going to slide, and I got to see that in Semin's."

Carolina and Anaheim muddled through a scoreless game for more than 30 minutes before each team scored late in the second period.

The Ducks opened the scoring scored with two minutes remaining when Ryan Getzlaf picked off Justin Faulk's pass and fed Perry for his 12th goal of the season. The Hurricanes got even with 16 seconds remaining when Semin skated through the Ducks' zone, patiently waiting for his shot before ripping a wrister that went off of Eric Staal for a power-play goal. Staal's fourth of the season ended a 10-game goal drought.

The Hurricanes took a 2-1 lead at 3:01 of the third period when Bowman gathered the puck on the wing, cut across the goal line and went to the top of the crease to slip the puck past the Anaheim goaltender. Bowman had a similar scoring chance in the first period, but he forced a shot into Fasth, who held tight to the post.

"I remembered the first one when I was coming down on the second chance," Bowman said. "On the first one, I kind of shot it from the side when I probably had a chance to take it across. The second one I decided to do it and it worked out."

The Ducks tied the game at 7:18 on Dustin Penner's power-play goal. He took a crisp cross-ice pass from Perry and scored Anaheim's third power-play goal on the road this season.

For the Ducks, gaining a point was something of a moral victory. The flu has made its way through the locker room, leaving weakened players in its wake.

"I thought our team played really well tonight," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "They showed great character to allow that team 19 shots before overtime. I thought that was a pretty good commitment to defense. We lost in a shootout, but we played a good game."

The Hurricanes have played quite a few game that look similar in style. Close-checking wins have become part of Carolina's identity. All eight of the Hurricanes' victories this season have been by one goal.

"It was a really tight game throughout," forward Jordan Staal said. "There really wasn't a lot of back and forth. There were a lot of battles. They made it difficult on us and we didn't give them much either."

For Carolina (8-7-4), the homestand marks a high point. Playing without injured forward Jeff Skinner and goaltenders Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin, they have flourished in front of Peters, who played his 10th straight game and lowered his goals-against average to 2.29.

"I've known [Peters] know for a long time, and he's the hardest working guy I've seen," Terry said. "I've seen him excel in Charlotte and win us games down there. I know it's in him. It's great to see his work ethic is paying off and he's playing tremendous up here."

And if his Charlotte buddies like Bowman can chip in, so much the better.

"It's a process for some young guys to learn how to play in the NHL the right way," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "We've been pushing Bowman and he's been doing a great job. When you play the right way, you usually get results if you have the skills to go with it. He's improving day by day and he's getting better as an NHLer."

The Hurricanes move on to face the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. Anaheim (15-5-2) fell to 0-2-1 on a four-game road trip that ends with a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.

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