Jeff Skinner nets a hat trick, Hurricanes beat Ducks

Ducks Nate Thompson receives a five-minute match penalty for his high hit on Justin Faulk.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jeff Skinner scored into an empty net to complete his hat trick and Elias Lindholm connected on a power play, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.

Jordan Staal also scored and Eddie Lack made 31 saves, losing his shutout bid with 5:51 left in the third period when Jakob Silfverberg converted a pass from behind the net by Sami Vatanen.

Lack got a break with 7:46 left in the second period when Vatanen’s 50-foot slap shot hit the post with the Hurricanes leading 2-0.

John Gibson stopped 14 of 17 shots in his seventh straight start for the Ducks – a stretch that included shutouts against Vancouver and San Jose. Frederik Andersen, who missed the previous seven games because of the flu, replaced Gibson at the start of the third. It was his first appearance since Nov. 21.

Skinner opened the scoring at 16:50 of the first period, catching up with a loose puck in the Anaheim zone after a long clearing pass off the boards by teammate Ron Hainsey and beating Gibson to the stick wide with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle.

Skinner, who has scored six of his 11 goals in his last four games, made it 2-0 at 11:36 of the second. He converted a rebound after Victor Rask worked the puck away from Andrew Cogliano in the right corner and tried to jam it inside the post.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau challenged the goal, claiming goaltender interference by Rask, but the play stood after after a video review by league officials in Toronto.

Cogliano was sent off for high-sticking Jaccob Slavin with 3:32 left in the second, and Lindholm scored 25 seconds later to make it 3-0. He one-timed a perfect pass through the crease by Eric Staal, who carried the puck out from behind the net.

The Hurricanes have five power play goals in their last four games, after an eight-game stretch in which they were 2 for 24. The victory was their first on the road since Oct. 29 against the New York Islanders.

Ducks centre Nate Thompson received a major penalty and a game misconduct at 6:25 of the first for elbowing Justin Faulk in the face, a split-second after as Faulk passed the puck in the Anaheim zone.

Less than 2 1/2 minutes later, Staal got a slashing penalty for chopping Anaheim Vatanen’s stick in half while chasing the puck in the Ducks’ zone – negating 40 per cent of the Hurricanes’ five-minute power play.

NOTES: Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf engaged Hainsey in a fight 4 seconds after the faceoff following Lindholm’s goal. … The Hurricanes came in averaging a league-low 6.5 penalty minutes, which is beneficial for a team with the second-worst penalty-killing percentage (74.3). Anaheim was 0 for 1 on the power play. … Playing for the first time since their 2-1 win over Pittsburgh, the Ducks finished their second-longest homestand of the season 3-2-1. They have an eight-game homestand next month. . Anaheim LW Jiri Sekac missed his 18th straight game because of an sprained right ankle. But he is expected to return to the lineup sometime during the team’s four-game eastern road trip, which begins next Thursday at Buffalo after a five-day break. … LW Pat Maroon was back in the Anaheim lineup after three games as a healthy scratch. He has one goal in 25 games.

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