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Kings take on Hurricanes to begin road trip

by Brian Hunter /

KINGS (2-2-0) at HURRICANES (2-1-1)


Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes. Goals by Jiri Tlusty and Jeff Skinner led the Hurricanes to a 2-1 win in the most recent matchup on Feb. 4, 2012. Anze Kopitar scored for the Kings.

Big story: It's been an uneven start to the season for Los Angeles, which blew a three-goal lead on home ice Wednesday and needed a Jeff Carter power-play goal in overtime to escape with two points against the Ottawa Senators. The Kings now hit the road for four in a row.

Team Scope:

Kings: Jonathan Quick is still trying to rediscover the form that made him a Vezina Trophy finalist and Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 2012, while Los Angeles is still seeking a complete 60-minute effort. Both of the Kings' wins in the early going have come post-regulation.

Against the Senators, Dustin Brown sandwiched a pair of first-period goals around one by Carter and Quick carried a 3-1 lead into the third before surrendering two scores. In danger of losing their third straight and second in a row at Staples Center, the Kings took advantage of a penalty late in regulation and got Carter's OT winner.

"Over the long haul, if we're going to be successful, we've got to lock games down and this team has been, over the last three or four years, probably one of the best teams doing that," Brown said. "We've got to get back to doing that."

Hurricanes: A number of forward spots were up for grabs at Carolina training camp, and it appears the Hurricanes made an astute decision by adding Nathan Gerbe. The 5-foot-5 wing had a team-high seven shots Thursday against the Washington Capitals, and the one he took 6:59 into the third resulted in the decisive goal in a 3-2 victory.

"He's doing a lot of things well without the puck," coach Kirk Muller said. "He competes and he works and he's really worked for his goals so far [this season] and it was a huge one tonight."

Two other players new to the Hurricanes also stood front and center: Elias Lindholm, the fifth pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, got them on the board in the second period with his first career goal, while free-agent signing Anton Khudobin stopped 30 shots and has both of the team's wins this season.

Who's hot: Carter, whose 26 goals last season for the Kings were fourth in the NHL, has four in as many games to start 2013-14. … Gerbe has three goals in four games for the Hurricanes. Skinner set up two goals Thursday and has five assists on the season.

Injury report: Los Angeles reports no injuries. … Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason (concussion) remains out indefinitely.

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