Carolina beats Coyotes 6-5 after giving up weird goal
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By JOEDY McCREARY
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Cam Ward allowed an early goal when the puck stuck in his skate. With Arizona trying to force overtime, the Carolina goalie used his glove to prevent another one.
Jeff Skinner scored his second goal with 1:58 left, and the Hurricanes beat the Coyotes 6-5 on Thursday night despite giving up a weird goal with a puck lodged in Ward's skate.
"That first one was probably one of the weirdest goals I've ever seen," Skinner said. "You stick with it, though, and it paid off for us."
Skinner added an assist, and Valentin Zykov scored two goals, the second tying it at 5 with 10:14 remaining. Phil Di Giuseppe had a goal and two assists, and Jaccob Slavin had three assists.
Teuvo Teravainen also scored, and Ward made 28 saves for Carolina. The Hurricanes had lost six of eight.
Alex Goligoski scored twice, including arguably the most bizarre goal of the season when Ward unknowingly skated across the red line with the puck lodged in his right skate.
Rookie Clayton Keller had a goal and an assist, Josh Archibald and Nick Cousins also scored and Darcy Kuemper stopped 24 shots for Arizona. Eliminated from the playoff race last week, the Coyotes won at Buffalo on Wednesday night for their second straight victory.
"We scored five goals, 5-4, if we lock it down, we win the game," coach Rick Tocchet said. "We have to learn as a team, when you're a little bit tired, you have to have mental toughness. You can't just say you're tired, and I'm going to make a stupid mistake. You're tired, you can still be focused. ... Good teams know they tired, and they can still stay in their structure, and I felt our guys gave in."
Skinner's winner came when he backhanded his blocked shot past Kuemper after some slick passing from Di Giuseppe and Slavin. Ward preserved the lead with a slick glove save off Oliver Ekman-Larsson's blast with about 40 seconds remaining.
Goligoski's second goal came on a power play with 10.3 seconds left in the second period and put the Coyotes up 5-4.
His first goal was the one everyone will be talking about .
Ward skated behind the net to play the puck midway through the first, and it somehow wedged inside his right skate. The play was not blown dead, so Ward returned to the net and as he dug into his crease, the puck crossed the goal line. After a brief video review, the goal was awarded to Goligoski.
"It's bad luck for Ward there, but good for us, obviously," Tocchet said.
For the Hurricanes, that was a fitting application of Murphy's Law to a once-promising season that has gone awry.
"That's a first - got to be a first," coach Bill Peters said. "It was one of those where you're shaking your head, wondering `What else? What's next?'"
Since a victory over New Jersey on March 2, Carolina had gone into a tailspin - a slump marked by consecutive third-period collapses - to all but eliminate itself from the playoff chase. The Hurricanes entered nine points behind the Devils for the East's final playoff spot.
NOTES: Keller has points in seven straight games and is one goal shy of the team rookie record of 22 set by Peter Mueller in 2007-08. ... Teravainen and C Sebastian Aho also each have points in seven straight. ... Arizona D Niklas Hjalmarsson went down with an apparent leg injury late in the second. ... The Hurricanes have given up at least three goals in six straight games.
Coyotes: Continue their six-game road swing at Florida on Saturday night.
Hurricanes: At Ottawa on Saturday night.
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Updated March 22, 2018