Faulk, Pesce help Hurricanes end 5-game slide, beat LA 4-3
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) When Justin Faulk winds up for his slap shot, the defenseman is making it hurt for Carolina's opponents - both physically, and on the scoreboard.
Faulk scored two power-play goals, and the Hurricanes stopped a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.
''There's probably four or five guys in the league that (defenders) don't quite find the shooting lane on because it hurts, and I think he's in that group,'' coach Bill Peters said, adding with a wry smile that ''sometimes guys just miss that lane.''
Brett Pesce scored his first NHL goal and added an assist, and Jeff Skinner also scored for Carolina, which led 3-0 in the second period.
Faulk scored each of his goals in the second, giving him an NHL-best eight with the man advantage.
''I just try to shoot and get pucks on net - if it goes in, it goes in,'' Faulk said. ''Just trying to do the same thing every time. Create momentum, create chances and hope for the best.''
Cam Ward finished with 26 saves for the Hurricanes.
Anze Kopitar scored two goals for Los Angeles, including one 58 seconds after Dustin Brown scored on a penalty shot. Jonathan Quick allowed four goals with 17 saves in two periods before Jhonas Enroth replaced him and made eight stops. The Kings have lost two straight for the first time since mid-October.
''I think there's a lot of unhappy players, quite honestly,'' Brown said. ''A lot of us were here last year when we let it slide, and as a result we're not playing at the end of the year. We have an opportunity to right the ship (Monday) night and that should be our focus.''
The Kings had an impressive rally, with Kopitar making it a one-goal game with 10:45 to play on a slap shot from the circle that might have clipped Carolina defenseman Ron Hainsey on its way past Ward.
Ward stopped everything after that, including a slick save on Drew Doughty with about 5 minutes left.
The Hurricanes entered with 15 points - tied with Colorado and Edmonton for the fewest in the league - but earned their first regulation win since beating the Avalanche on Oct. 30.
They have earned points in four of five games, with three losses in that span coming in overtime or a shootout. That includes Friday night when they allowed Toronto to score the tying goal with 3:33 to play and lost in the tiebreaker.
''We're a quarter of the way through the season, I like our group and I like the way we're going,'' Peters said.
It seemed as if another lead might slip away when Los Angeles scored two goals less than a minute apart late in the second period to make it 3-2.
Brown was awarded his penalty shot when the officials ruled Carolina rookie Noah Hanifin touched the puck with his hand in the goal crease. The winger beat Ward high to his glove side to make it 3-1, and Kopitar made it a one-goal game with 6 minutes left when he ripped a high wrist shot past Ward.
Faulk then put the Hurricanes up 4-2 with his shot from the right circle with 2:14 left in the second - a goal that so frustrated Alec Martinez that the Kings defenseman whacked the goal post with his stick.
Faulk put Carolina up 3-0 earlier in the period by scoring with a two-man advantage. That came after Pesce had a hand in the Hurricanes' first two goals. Carolina was 2 for 6 on the power play.
''Hard to win games when we're killing (penalties) as much as we killed tonight,'' Brown said.
NOTES: Carolina C Brad Malone and Los Angeles LW Kyle Clifford fought with 7 minutes left in the first, after Clifford's hard hit on Carolina LW Nathan Gerbe in the corner. Gerbe suffered a lower-body injury and did not return. ... The 5-minute fighting major given to Malone for that dustup was the Hurricanes' first of the season.
Follow Joedy McCreary at http://twitter.com/joedyap. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/joedy-mccreary