October 16, 2019 / 5:29 AM / a month ago

Mrazek, Hurricanes blank Kings to open road trip

EditorsNote: rewords third and fifth grafs; changes to “21” in last graf

Martin Necas and Sebastian Aho scored goals as the visiting Carolina Hurricanes overcame a slow start to earn a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

With their high-powered offense held in check, the Hurricanes picked things up on defense in the opener of a four-game road trip and a three-game swing through California. Goalie Petr Mrazek made 31 saves while earning his first shutout of the season and improving to 4-0-0.

After winning its first five games of the season, Carolina took a 3-2 defeat at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday before bouncing back Tuesday. The latest win came in an unexpected low-scoring affair between the high-scoring Hurricanes and the defense-challenged Kings.

Despite the defeat, the Kings also showed an improved defense by using a tight checking approach. Los Angeles had given up at least four goals in four of its first five games.

The Kings went with backup Jack Campbell in goal ahead of veteran Jonathan Quick, who played in all three of the team’s previous defeats, allowing 19 goals in those contests. Campbell, who was in goal for the Kings’ two victories this season, made 21 saves Tuesday.

The Kings went on the attack early in order to neutralize the Hurricanes’ speed, outshooting Carolina 9-1 in the early going and 17-9 during a scoreless first period.

The Hurricanes began to assert themselves in the second period, getting Necas’ goal at the 4:16 mark. Ryan Dzingel’s feed from behind the Los Angeles goal found Necas at the point, and the center was able to convert from out front for his second goal of the season.

The Kings pulled Campbell with just under two minutes to play to add an extra attacker, and they were on the power play for the final 1:14 after Drew Doughty was forced into the boards face-first by Jordan Staal. But Los Angeles was unable to score with the late six-on-four advantage.

Aho delivered into an empty net with seven seconds remaining, his second tally of the season.

After scoring 21 goals in their first five games, the Hurricanes have scored just four in their past two contests.

—Field Level Media

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