Carolina got their revenge for a loss to Anaheim a month ago as the Hurricanes beat the Ducks 5-1 Friday night at Honda Center. Eddie Lack recorded just his second win of the season in a 31-save effort while John Gibson got the loss after being pulled at the end of the second period.
Many wondered whether or not the four-day break would help or hinder an Anaheim team who had put together four solid games in a row (going 3-1 in that stretch). The Ducks didn't seem sluggish, but the offensive woes of October returned. Anaheim looked good out of the gate and finished with 62.4% of the shot attempts in the game. Late in the first period a Ryan Getzlaf turnover in the offensive zone turned into a 2-on-1 rush for Carolina, on which Jeff Skinner potted the first of his three goals on the night.
The second period began with a surge from Anaheim. Dangerous chances for Carl Hagelin and Chris Stewart in the slot looked promising but didn't result in goals. Just past the halfway mark in the game Victor Rask charged hard to the front of the net, making some contact with Gibson and causing the net to momentarily lift up, allowing Skinner to pick the puck out of the blue paint and score his second of the night. Head Coach Bruce Boudreau used his first challenge of the season with the thought that Gibson had been interfered with, but the subsequent review didn't see any significant interference. Five minutes later Elias Lindholm scored his fourth goal of the season on the power play following an Andrew Cogliano high-sticking minor. The next face off saw Getzlaf challenge Ron Hainsey to a fight that was uneventful.
The third period saw another big push from Anaheim to bring the game back. Gibson was benched in the intermission to try and light a fire under the Ducks skaters and it seemed to work. Two stellar chances by Corey Perry nearly brought the game back within 2 goals. With five minutes left in regulation, Jakob Silfverberg scored his third goal of the season, tipping a Sami Vatanen pass through Lack, but Jordan Staal proceded to put the game away with his sixth goal of the season less than three minutes later. An odd decision to pull Frederik Andersen for an extra attacker with 3 minutes left allowed Skinner to finish his hat trick into the empty net.
Anaheim finishes their six-game home stand going 3-2-1 in the stretch, and will begin a four-game road trip in Buffalo on Thursday, December 17.