Rask leads Hurricanes to 3-1 win over Wild
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Eddie Lack hasn’t had the kind of season he or the Carolina Hurricanes expected. He came through big time Thursday night while playing for the first time in five games.
Lack made 30 saves, Victor Rask scored the tiebreaking goal in 3:24 to play and the Hurricanes beat the Minnesota Wild 3-1.
“Eddie made some big saves,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “He made a sequence of three saves there at about the four-minute mark. It was a wonderful job. He was big tonight.”
Lack (4-5-2), acquired in June in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks, didn’t play between Nov. 10 and Feb. 7 because of concussion protocols as the Hurricanes dressed four other goalies behind stalwart No. 1 Cam Ward.
“I felt pretty good out there,” Lack said. “I saw the puck well. It wasn’t always pretty technically, but I felt like I battled. It’s two huge points for us. ... I don’t know if my third period was that much technical — I was on my (butt) a couple of times. Sometimes you need to be a little lucky, too, and that was the case today.”
Teuvo Teravainen added an empty-net goal with 1:24 remaining and Derek Ryan also scored to help Carolina earn a point for the fifth straight game (3-0-2).
Mikael Granlund scored for Minnesota and Devan Dubnyk finished with 21 saves. The Wild had won six straight overall against the Hurricanes, who improved to 6-1-2 against Minnesota at home.
The Wild finished a 1-4 road trip to give them five losses in their last six.
“We never quit, right down to the last second,” said Minnesota’s Bruce Boudreau, who coached his 750th NHL game. “The guys are feeling it. It’s been a long trip. We had opportunities, but we just didn’t score.”
Former Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, Carolina’s 2003 first-round draft pick (second overall), was back in Raleigh as a visiting player for just the second time. Staal, the older brother of Hurricanes center Jordan Staal, played 909 games with the franchise and is the club’s scoring leader since the franchise moved to North Carolina in 1997. He also helped lead the Hurricanes to the 2006 Stanley Cup.
Eric Staal, who had a three-game goal-scoring streak snapped, returned with the Rangers for one game last season after he was dealt to New York just before the trading deadline.
It was the 900th game for Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, while Wild center Charlie Coyle played in his 300th straight game.
The teams were tied 1-1 after a first period in which the Hurricanes outshot the visitors 10-9.
Ryan put the Hurricanes ahead on the power play at 4:37, scoring his 11th of the season by following Noah Hanifin’s shot and beating Dubnyk stick-side. Hanifin’s 18th helper tied his career high from his rookie campaign last season.
Granlund evened the score on a short-handed rush at 12:35, scoring his 24th goal of the season with Mikko Koivu on the lone assist.
Rask scored the late goal on helpers from Elias Lindholm, who stretched his points streak to five games, and Brock McGinn. McGinn had missed the previous eight games with an upper-body injury.
“I feel like I’m getting into my game more and more,” said Lindholm, who set a new career high for assists in a season with 29. “I don’t even remember how I got the puck. But Rask made a good move, made a play and put it in. I didn’t do too much, but it’”
NOTES: Hurricanes C Jay McClement (lower body) was out, while teammate LW Valentin Zykov (upper body) missed his third straight game and LW Phillip Di Giuseppe (upper body) his sixth straight. D Matt Tennyson was a healthy extra. ... Minnesota C Martin Hanzal (illness) missed his third straight contest while D Gustav Olofsson (upper body) missed his fourth straight and D Christian Folin (upper body) his sixth. C Jordan Schroeder was a healthy scratch. ... Carolina RW Lee Stempniak is on a three-game assists streak. ... The rematch is April 4 at Minnesota. ... The Hurricanes signed G Callum Booth of Saint John in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to a three-year entry-level contract earlier Thursday. Booth was Carolina’s fourth-round pick in the 2015 draft.
Wild: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday night.
Hurricanes: Host Nashville on Saturday night in the finale of a three-game homestand.