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Los Angeles at Carolina

Hurricanes 2, Kings 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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RALEIGH, N.C. -- Considering their position in the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Carolina Hurricanes know they can't let any points get away if they want to defend their Stanley Cup title.

On Tuesday night, that meant avoiding a letdown against the Western Conference's last-place team.

Scott Walker scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and David Tanabe had two assists to lead the Hurricanes past the Los Angeles Kings 2-1, giving Carolina a needed win as it enters a key stretch of the schedule.

Ray Whitney also scored for the Hurricanes. Cam Ward made 21 saves and didn't face much pressure in earning a relatively easy win.

"Right now you can't worry about who you're catching or who's catching you," said Walker, who scored his 17th goal of the season. "You've got to worry about the team you're playing and get the two points. That's what we focused on."

The Hurricanes play three of their next four at home, starting Thursday against the New York Rangers -- who are behind the Hurricanes. They also play Southeast Division-leading Atlanta and Philadelphia, the NHL's last-place team.

"Every two points is big for us," Ward said.

Alexander Frolov scored for the Kings, who have lost 13 of 16.

With the score tied at 1, Walker took a pass from Josef Vasicek along the boards and curled toward the middle of the zone. With no Kings defender hanging with him, Walker found a lane and took a long shot from beyond the circles that slipped by goalie Sean Burke at 14:46 of the second.

The Kings looked set for a good start when Carolina's Justin Williams was given a 4-minute penalty for high-sticking Jamie Lundmark just 13 seconds in. But the Kings managed only one shot with the advantage, the beginning of an anemic offensive night.

Los Angeles managed just 10 shots in the first two periods. And when the Kings got a scoring chance -- as when Dustin Brown corralled a mishandled puck by Frantisek Kaberle along the boards for a breakaway chance -- they couldn't take advantage.

"That's why we're in the predicament where're in," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "We're learning how to be a good team. When you're a good team, you find a way to scrap, fight and claw away at good teams.

"Carolina played well. They didn't make a lot of mistakes. We didn't play a spirited enough game."

Ward had a solid bounceback performance after allowing three goals on eight shots against Minnesota on Saturday before being pulled for John Grahame. He gave up only Frolov's redirection goal on a power play, and stopped a clear shot from Derek Armstrong to preserve the lead in the final seconds.

"I felt sharp," Ward said. "I thought the guys played extremely well in front of me. Anytime you allow 10 shots through 10 periods, that's saying something about team defense. That being said, it could be tough to keep yourself mentally into it. But I did the best I could to stay sharp and be ready for any scoring chances."

The Hurricanes led 1-0 when Rod Brind'Amour beat defenseman Rob Blake to the puck along the boards, then sent a pass from behind the net to Whitney for a short put-away with 1:10 left in the first.

But the Kings tied it when Frolov deflected in a pass from Brent Sopel with the man advantage midway through the second period after Vasicek was called for roughing.

Notes

Carolina LW Erik Cole missed his second straight game with a lower body injury. ... The teams hadn't met in Raleigh since Carolina's 3-2 overtime win on Nov. 8, 2003. ... Lundmark returned to the game in the first period after Williams' high-stick that opened a cut over his right eye. ... Whitney left the game briefly in the first period and limped to the locker room with a right leg injury after a hit near the net. ... The Brind'Amour-to-Whitney goal extended the scoring streak for both players to five games. Brind'Amour has eight points in that span, while Whitney has 10.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scoreboard
Los Angeles (19-31-9)0101
Carolina  (29-23-7) «1102
Three Stars
S. Walker
CAR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
R. Whitney
CAR


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
R. Brind'Amour
CAR


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
18:50Power Play - Ray Whitney (26), Snap Shot - Assists: Rod Brind'Amour, David Tanabe
2ND PERIOD
11:31Power Play - Alexander Frolov (30), Tip-In - Assists: Brent Sopel, Derek Armstrong
14:46Scott Walker (16), Slap Shot - Assists: Josef Vasicek, David Tanabe
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
00:13Williams: High sticking - 4 min.
17:14Visnovsky: Hooking - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
03:19O'Sullivan: Hooking - 2 min.
05:44O'Sullivan: Abusive Language(bench) - 2 min.
09:52Vasicek: Roughing - 2 min.
15:22Staal: Hooking - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
00:55Wesley: Holding - 2 min.
05:27Visnovsky: Interference - 2 min.
10:24O'Sullivan: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
12:10Staal: Hooking - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Los Angeles461222
Carolina1014529
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Sean Burke59:06272
Cam Ward59:31211
Game Information
Attendance - 15765
Referees - Craig Spada, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen - Thor Nelson, Tony Sericolo
 
Other Games
Edm 0 Final
Bos 3
NYI 3 Final
Tor 2
Pho 3 Final
TB 5
Fla 1 Final
Mon 0
SJ 6 Final
StL 5
Ana 0 Final
Colo 2
Atl 1 Final
Cal 4