Los Angeles Kings Earn Shutout Against Carolina Hurricanes 3-0

Jan 26, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Joakim Nordstrom (42) misses his second period shot against Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj (31) at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 26, 2017; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes forward Joakim Nordstrom (42) misses his second period shot against Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj (31) at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

After scoreless hockey for more than 55 minutes, the Los Angeles Kings netted a trio of quick goals to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0.

It was the last game before the All Star break, and both teams wanted to enter the weekend with as much momentum as they could muster.

Scratches for the Kings were Tom Gilbert, Nic Dowd, and Matt Greene. Dowd is still out with a lower body injury, while Greene is nursing a back injury. Scratches for the Hurricanes were Ryan Murphy, Ty Rattie, and Matt Tennyson.

Peter Budaj got the start in net for the Kings, while Cam Ward patrolled the crease for the Hurricanes. Ward was coming off a poor performance against the Washington Capitals a few days ago, giving up 6 goals on 25 shots.

At 5:43 into the 1st period, Klas Dahlbeck was penalized for hooking Jake Muzzin. The Kings couldn’t generate any shots on goal during the power play, though.

A pair of penalties were handed out at 12:11. Anze Kopitar was called for hooking Brock McGinn, while McGinn was called for holding Kopitar.

No scoring happened on the 4-on-4, but right as Kopitar got out of the box, he had a breakaway chance on Ward, but missed the shot high.

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Near the end of the period, a pileup in front of the net almost resulted in the Hurricanes taking the lead, but Budaj made a fantastic effort to keep the puck out.

The period ended in a scoreless tie. The Hurricanes registered 8 takeaways during the opening period, while the Kings only managed to get 1.

The Hurricanes had a huge chance to score when Sebastian Aho one-timed a shot in front of the net, but Budaj made a remarkable stick save and sent the puck off the crossbar to maintain the tie.

At 7:57 into the 2nd period, Dustin Brown was called for tripping Elias Lindholm. The Kings killed off the ensuing power play.

As the game returned to even strength, Aho had yet another great chance, but Budaj slid across the crease to his left to rob him again.

Devin Setoguchi was sent to the box for hooking Noah Hanifin at 13:25. The Kings killed off the penalty thanks to a big pad-stacking save from Budaj.

The game remained scoreless through two periods. Heading into the 2nd intermission, the Hurricanes held the takeaway advantage 12-2, but also committed 14 giveaways while Kings were at 4 giveaways.

Victor Rask drew a hooking penalty on Andy Andreoff at 5:14 into the 3rd period. The Hurricanes got 1 shot on goal during the power play, and the Kings managed to kill it off.

Both goaltenders were having a great game, and it seemed like whichever team finally scored first was going to come out on top.

Aho refused to go away. He had another chance to score on Budaj, but was tripped from behind by Alec Martinez 11:47. It looked close to being worthy of a penalty shot, but Aho had lost control of the puck at the last second, meaning a power play would have to suffice for the Hurricanes.

They failed to take advantage of the opportunity, though, and the power play ended with the game still scoreless.

The Kings finally broke the tie when Drew Doughty fed Marian Gaborik all by himself in front of the net. Gaborik put it past Ward on the backhand at 15:17. Anze Kopitar got the other assist.

Soon after, Setoguchi got a shot on Ward, and when Ward couldn’t handle the rebound, Trevor Lewis crashed the net and put it in. Brayden McNabb got the other assist at 15:55.

Ward got pulled for the extra attacker with about 3 minutes left in the game. He showed visible signs of frustration once getting off the ice after giving up 2 goals so quickly after playing fantastically for much of the game.

Kyle Clifford got a goal on the empty net at 17:36. Tanner Pearson and Martinez got the assists, and the scoreboard won’t indicate how close this game actually was.

It had been 82 games since the Hurricanes were shutout, but Budaj and the Kings ended that impressive streak. It was the 5th shutout of the season for Budaj, as he saved all 22 shots against him.

Ward managed to save 26 out of 28 shots against him, but his team just couldn’t figure out how to get the best of Budaj.

The Kings went 0 of 1 on the power play, while the Hurricanes went scoreless on their 4 power play opportunities.

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It’s now time for the players and fans to enjoy All Star Weekend in Los Angeles. Doughty and Jeff Carter are representing the Kings, while Justin Faulk is representing the Hurricanes.