Carolina ends road trip with 3-1 win over Phoenix

By John Marshall, Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 14, 2013 at 9:20 p.m.



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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Eric Staal had a goal and two assists, Justin Peters stopped 37 shots, and the Carolina Hurricanes ended a four-game road trip with a 3-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

Carolina came into the game having pulled out a point in the previous two games of its trip and fell behind 1-0 after one period against the Coyotes.

Nathan Gerbe tied it midway through the second and Jeff Skinner put the Hurricanes ahead early in the second with his eighth goal in six games.

Peters made some big stops down the stretch and Staal added an empty-net goal for Carolina, which gets five days off before its next game.

Paul Bissonnette scored his first goal in two years and Mike Smith stopped 30 shots for Phoenix.

Coming off a difficult stretch, the Coyotes had earned points in three straight games, including a 6-3 win over the Islanders on Thursday, despite missing several key players.

Phoenix was short-handed again against Carolina. Captain Shane Doan missed his fourth straight game with an illness, defenseman Derek Morris was out for the fourth straight game and left wing Lauri Korpikoski sat out his 11th straight.

The Coyotes have been getting by with production throughout their lines and the start of Saturday's game was no different.

Generating some good early chances, Phoenix scored midway through the first period, when Jeff Halpern kept the puck in Carolina's zone and found Connor Murphy at the right point. He fed a pass to Bissonnette in the crease and the fourth-liner redirected it in for his first goal since Nov. 19, 2011, against Buffalo and first at home since 2010.

The Hurricanes took over after that.

Gerbe tied it at 8:50 of the second period, keeping it on a 2-on-1 and beating Smith to the glove side with a wrister for his seventh of the season.

Peters made a huge save late in the second period, stopping Antoine Vermette on a breakaway, and Skinner put the Hurricanes up by scooping up a loose puck off a faceoff and whipping a shot past Smith 3 minutes into the third to score in his third straight game.

Peters turned the Coyotes away when they turned up the pressure late, including a spectacular save against Mike Ribeiro.

NOTES: Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt dropped the ceremonial puck before the game. ... Hurricanes rookie C Elias Lindholm did not play after taking a hard hit against Calgary on Thursday. ... Doan spoke during the second intermission and said he still doesn't know what caused him to be sick the past 10 days, but has responded to medicine and is feeling better. No timetable has been given for his return. ... Carolina's Tim Gleason had an assist for his 100th point with the Hurricanes.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

John Marshall

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