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Game blog: Minnesota defeats Hurricanes 3-1

Posted October 24, 2013

Final; Wild 3, Hurricanes 1:

Hurricanes Radek Dvorak took a penalty with less than three minutes to play and the Wild took advantage. Dany Heatley scored on the power play to seal the 3-1 win.

End of second period; Wild 2, Hurricanes 1:

The Hurricanes' Alexander Semin grabbed power play goal in the second period with an assist from Eric Staal and Andrej Sekera. During first period play goaltender Cam Ward suffered a lower-body injury and team said he is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. The Hurricanes will recall goaltender Mike Murphy from the Charlotte Checkers prior to Friday.

End of first period; Wild 2, Hurricanes 0:

Hurricanes Alexander Semin was flagged with an interference penalty to set up a power play goal by the Wild's Nino Niederreiter. Less than three minutes later Zach Parise netted another for the 2-0 lead.


Preview: The Carolina Hurricanes lost in Eric Staal's NHL debut over 10 years ago.

Now with 699 career games under his belt, Staal will look to lead the Hurricanes to a third straight victory on Thursday night when his club visits the Minnesota Wild.

Staal is scheduled to skate in his 700th NHL game tonight and has certainly made his mark on the Hurricanes franchise since it took him second overall in the 2003 draft -- one pick after the Pittsburgh Penguins made goaltender Marc- Andre Fleury the top overall selection.

The 28-year-old Staal has logged 271 goals and 363 assists for 634 points with the Hurricanes, ranking second on Hartford/Carolina's all-time list in goals, assists and points. He is behind only Ron Francis in all three categories.

Staal is set to become just the fourth player in team history to play in at least 700 games with the franchise, joining Francis (1,186), Glen Wesley (913) and Kevin Dineen (708).

The center has totaled three goals and seven points in nine games this season, notching a pair of assists in Saturday's 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. Jiri Tlusty scored twice, while Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner also scored.

Cam Ward made 22 saves in the victory, giving up two of his three goals on New York power plays. He was also beaten at even strength with 1:01 left in regulation before Carolina held on.

"We took some questionable penalties in the third that put us in a position that we don't want to be in late," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "But other than that, I thought we had a good effort."

Carolina has won the first two of a four-game road trip after losing three in a row -- all at home -- and have won three of four as the guest this season. The 'Canes wrap their current swing on Friday night in Colorado.

The Wild snapped a three-game slide with Tuesday's 2-0 win over the Nashville Predators as Josh Harding made 16 saves for his first shutout of the season and eighth of his career.

Justin Fontaine had the game's first goal late in the second period after putting home a rebound of a Clayton Stoner shot, while Jason Pominville added an empty-net score.

"We can't feel too good about (the win). We have to build off this," Minnesota Wild head coach Mike Yeo said.

Minnesota will have to build tonight without defenseman Jonas Brodin, who missed the majority of Tuesday's win after suffering a broken cheekbone when he was hit in the face by a puck. There is no timetable for his return.

It is unknown if Yeo will stick with Harding again tonight or give Niklas Backstrom his first start since exiting early on Oct. 8 due to injury. Backstrom has dressed as the backup in each of Minnesota's last two games.

Harding, meanwhile, has won all three of his home starts this season while stopping 48-of-50 shots faced. He currently leads the NHL with a 0.96 goals against average and is second with a .953 save percentage in eight games.

Harding did lose his only previous matchup with Carolina, giving up three goals on 28 shots, while Backstrom is 3-1-2 with a 2.76 GAA in six games versus the Hurricanes.

Carolina has won four straight versus Minnesota, including a pair of games in Helsinki, Finland to begin the 2010-11 campaign. Two of those four wins over the Wild came in a shootout and Ward is 3-0-1 lifetime versus the club with a 2.80 GAA.

The Wild, though, are 4-2-0 with a pair of ties in the eight all-time meetings played in Minnesota.

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  • fuzzter1 Oct 24, 2013

    I agree. The Checkers can get the Everblades goalie to Grand Rapids by tomorrow night. I just think the issues are a lot deeper at this point. Whatever is ailing Cam is clearly not healed. Both moves he's made this season ending with him leaving the ice have been fairly tame.

    It's a long season, but there are some very dark clouds gathering above the PNC Center.

    It's only October and this is the kind of situation they pay Rutherford a fat salary to manage. He better do just that. We have the "luxury" of this happening now and not in March. We can recover.

  • fuzzter1 Oct 24, 2013

    Ugh, I hate losing to a team dressed like Santa's elves...

  • StunGunn Oct 24, 2013

    This is really, really bad news for the Canes. They are without their starter and backup goalie in the first month of the season. I'd like to see them pick up a net minder on waivers. I hope Cam heals fast - he's had horrible luck last year and this year.

  • kheffn Oct 24, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Good analysis. Congrats. Just read that Ward is expected to be out 3-4 weeks and they've recalled Murphy. Ward can't stay healthy and is a huge cap hit to not play. I'm sure they'd rather have the Checkers with one goalie this weekend than the Canes. Regardless, it's not good for the Canes playoff chances. Just think about last year.

  • jscott13 Oct 24, 2013

    fuzzter...Cam is constantly hurt. Either he is just fragile or he isn't working hard enough in the off season. Lots of these guys play in other places during the off season, but Cam won't do it.

  • fuzzter1 Oct 24, 2013

    Question: Do we bring up another Checkers goalie, Muse or Murphy, or hit the waiver wire for one sitting on a shelf somewhere? We simply cannot head to Colorado with only one goalie and bringing someone up will leave the Checkers with only one goalie with back-to-backs this weekend.

    They forced Cam to come back too early and I'm afraid they will force Khudoban back too early. Arrrgh. Rutherford is earning his money tonight!!

  • kheffn Oct 24, 2013

    Why is Peters in goal? Never mind. Just went to nhl.com and saw Ward is injured again.

  • McLovin Oct 24, 2013

    Go CANES!!

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