Hurricanes beat Coyotes 2-1 to end 4-game slidePosted: Updated:
Carolina coach Bill Peters pulled into a spot at the airport before his team's trip to Arizona and looked over to see Eddie Lack parked next to him.
The random encounter could have been awkward, coming a day after Peters publicly called out his backup goalie. Instead, it led to a long discussion that cleared the air.
Lack stopped 24 shots two days after being criticized by his coach, and Derek Ryan scored on a strange bounce in the third period Sunday to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes.
"We had a great talk and a great walk from the cars to the plane," Peters said. "I have a lot respect for his game, a lot of respect for him as a player. He was good."
Peters lashed out publicly at Lack on Friday after a poor performance against Tampa Bay, ending his interview with reporters by saying, "Make a save," and using a profanity while glancing toward Lack's locker.
Following the impromptu airport meeting, Lack was sharp in his ninth start of the season, helping the Hurricanes end a four-game losing streak with their second victory in 11 games.
"I know there's been a lot of talk about the Tampa game, but two games before that I felt I had my two best games of the season," Lack said. "I have so many positive people around me. I felt like I got so many phone calls and texts the past couple days, so I just stayed positive."
Ryan punched in the game-winner with just more than three minutes left when a shot caromed off the stick of Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun, then off the crossbar and out front. Tuevo Teravainen also scored for Carolina, which has won six straight in Arizona.
Peter Holland scored and Mike Smith stopped 33 shots in his 300th game with the Coyotes.
The Coyotes had their chances after a sluggish first period, but failed to capitalize on three power plays in the third, including a brief 5-on-3 against the NHL's least-penalized team.
"We've been struggling for a while and keep getting better at it," Arizona left wing Max Domi said about the power play. "We just need to keep practicing it, stick with it, just find a way."
The Hurricanes and Coyotes were completing a home-and-home, only with an extra day in between. Arizona won the first matchup 4-2 behind captain Shane Doan's three-point night.
For the second go-round, the teams switched up goalies. Lack allowed four goals on 16 shots Wednesday in a 4-3 overtime loss to Tampa Bay during his last start, prompting the harsh words from Peters.
Lack was sharp in the first period this time, turning away eight shots.
Smith was even better, making a couple of spectacular saves among the 14 he had in the opening frame.
After the scoreless first, the goals came quickly in the second.
Holland had the first one, swiping the puck into the net after a shot trickled through Lack's pads and sat at the back of the crease for a few seconds.
Teravainen scored his 12th of the season 83 seconds later on a shot from the point that appeared to hit a skate and carom past Smith.
Both goalies made superb saves the rest of the way until the game was decided on a strange carom that left Smith with no chance.
"It's frustrating," Smith said. "Giving up a goal like that with not too much time in the game, that's tough to swallow a little bit."
NOTES: Carolina LW Brock McGinn missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury. ... Smith is second on the franchise list for games played by a goalie to Bob Essensa's 311. ... Arizona's Anthony Duclair had an assist in his first home game since Jan. 16. He was recalled from Tucson of the AHL on Wednesday.
Carolina plays at Colorado on Tuesday before heading home for two games.
Arizona hosts Ottawa on Thursday in the second of a four-game homestand.
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