Rask, Faulk, Skinner lift Hurricanes over Avalanche
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Highlight-reel goals were the order of the night, and the Carolina Hurricanes kept up their run of home dominance against the Colorado Avalanche.
Victor Rask tied it in the second with a nifty tap-in, Justin Faulk scored on a power-play one-timer and Jeff Skinner found a tiny lane with a wrister, helping the Hurricanes beat the Avalanche 3-2 Friday night for their third straight victory.
Colorado’s Carl Soderberg scored with 31.8 seconds left, but Carolina got its first home win of the season.
It was the Hurricanes’ first home game following a long, annual road trip — seven contests this time — to avoid traffic conflicts with the North Carolina State Fair.
Carolina won the teams’ only other meeting this season 1-0 in overtime nine days earlier. Goalie Cam Ward got that shutout and stopped 28 shots in this one.
“We’re getting closer,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “We’ve got some traction now, a little bit of confidence. We’ve got both goaltenders going, and I think we’re going in the right direction for sure.”
Colorado’s Semyon Varlamov made 23 saves. Alex Tanguay also scored.
Kris Versteeg and Ryan Murphy each had two assists for the Hurricanes. Brett Pesce got his first career point on a third-period assist.
Colorado’s last win in Raleigh was in January 2008.
“If you want to win on the road, you need your special unit to do a good job,” Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. “We just don’t score enough goals.”
The Avalanche outshot the hosts 11-7 in a scoreless first period. Carolina was penalized twice and had to kill off 30 seconds of a 5-on-3 power play.
An apparent goal by Faulk was disallowed 20 seconds into the second. Replays showed the puck never crossed the goal line.
Tanguay got Colorado on the board at 6:49 of the second, scoring from the slot on Mikhail Grigorenko’s deflection of Nathan McKinnon’s centering pass.
Rask retaliated with 8 minutes left in the period, receiving Versteeg’s centering pass in the low slot and lifting the puck over Varlamov’s shoulder.
Faulk put Carolina ahead with 5:04 left in the second on a one-timer from the high slot on the power play.
“I kind of know the area I want to go,” said Faulk, who like Rask has four goals on the campaign. “I’m not trying to put it in a little space — well, sometimes I am — but that one I was trying to get some good wood on it and get some speed on it.”
Skinner got the insurance goal at 5:07 of the third with a seeing-eye shot through traffic over Varlamov’s left shoulder.
“I was just trying to get it through,” said Skinner, who tallied his second of the season. “Their D-man was on me. I tried to back him off with a sort of a fake and got it through to the net. (Riley) Nash did a good job getting in front of the net so (Varlamov) couldn’t really see it. I hit a small target without meaning to. Sometimes it finds a hole, and sometimes you miss an open net.”
NOTES: Hurricanes C Elias Lindholm left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. ... Carolina’s next game is at home on Sunday against Tampa Bay. ... The Avalanche’s next game is at home on Sunday against San Jose. ... Ryan Murphy played in his 100th NHL and Carolina game on Friday night. ... Hurricanes rookies LW Brock McGinn and D Pesce made their home-ice debuts. ... Carolina C Joakim Nordstrom (lower body) missed his eighth straight game while Colorado D Brad Stuart (back) missed his fourth straight. ... Hurricanes C Andrej Nestrasil and D Michal Jordan were healthy scratches, as was D Nate Guenin for Colorado.