Hurricanes pick up steam, face Kings next
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Maybe this is the time the Carolina Hurricanes put together an extended stretch of good results.
That's what they're aiming for Tuesday night in a matchup against the Los Angeles Kings at PNC Arena.
"I'd rather be playing well and building toward something," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "This last three-game stretch has been good. I liked a lot of parts of our game in all three of those."
The Hurricanes have made another upturn by winning their past two games and securing points in three in a row. They sit 4-2-1 on the homestand.
"Everything was clicking," Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward said. "Every day I think everybody is looking at the standings. You have to take care of business right now. You can't wait until 10 games are left or something."
Left winger Brock McGinn was the latest big contributor, with two goals in Saturday night's 3-1 victory over Colorado.
"We just want to build going on forward," McGinn said.
This will mark the close of an eight-game home stretch for the Hurricanes, who've moved into position for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The game against the Kings provides a chance for the Hurricanes to produce just their third four-game points streak of the season.
"Just keep playing hard, keep playing for each other," said left winger Jeff Skinner, who notched his first goal in seven games Saturday night. "Everyone has been contributing.
"That's something we're going to need."
Los Angeles has scored at least three goals in its last four games since being shut out at Nashville. Carolina has allowed a total of seven goals in its last four games.
The Kings will be without forward Dustin Brown, who was suspended for one game by the NHL for kneeing Tampa Bay's Mikhail Sergachev on Saturday night when LA lost 4-3.
Brown is tied for third on the team with 16 goals, and he logs the second-most ice time among Los Angeles forwards with more than 19 minutes per game.
The Kings played Saturday without center Trevor Lewis, who returned to the West Coast after he sustained an undisclosed injury Friday night. Coach John Stevens said it's hoped that Lewis can be back with the team this week.
Los Angeles split two games in Florida, with a three-game winning streak snapped at Tampa Bay, before taking two days off. This visit to Carolina is the third stop of a seven-game road swing.
Los Angeles registered a season-high 47 shots on goal in their most recent game.
"We've got to carry that over," Kings captain Anze Kopitar said, referring to the team's strong third period at Tampa Bay.
Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said "you've got to remember the good things that you did," but that doesn't guarantee a strong showing in the next game.
The Kings defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime on Dec. 9 at home. Los Angeles managed only 21 shots in that game, a total that matches the fewest shots allowed by Carolina this season.
Updated February 12, 2018