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Canucks 3, Hurricanes 2

The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Center Ryan Kesler had his third two-goal game of the season and rookie goalie Eddie Lack stopped 29 shots as the Vancouver Canucks rebounded to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 Sunday afternoon.

Vancouver was coming off a 5-2 loss in which starting goalie Roberto Luongo was pulled in favor of Lack after allowing three goals 10 shots against the New York Rangers.

In their second afternoon game in as many days, the Canucks grabbed an early two-goal lead as Kesler broke out of a slump in which he had registered just one goal and four assists in his last 11 games.

Meanwhile, Carolina couldn't crack the top penalty-killing unit in the NHL, going 0-for-6 with the man advantage as the Canucks grabbed a 3-2 lead heading into the third. Vancouver's stellar shorthanded performance came after allowing two power-play goals in a game for the first time in five weeks against the Rangers.

Lack received a little bit of luck in the win when Eric Staal's deflection with 9:12 left and the Canes on the power play rang off the inside of the post and back into the pads of the Vancouver goalie.

All the second-period scoring was contained within a span of 37 seconds as center Jordan Staal and left winger Nathan Gerbe scored 10 seconds apart for the Hurricanes less than one minute into the period to tie the score 2-2. However, 27 seconds after Gerbe's goal Kesler was able to sneak the puck past Carolina goalie Cam Ward as the Canucks regained the lead for good.

The Hurricanes, who continue to struggle on offense, managed just four first-period shots -- three by the defense and one by fourth-liner Manny Malhotra -- on the heels of a season-low 18 on net in a 5-2 loss to New Jersey on Friday night as the Canucks bolted to a 2-0 lead.

Kesler scored on a 5-on-3 less than a minute after heading off the ice when he was struck in the neck with the puck in front of Ward. The center posted his 11th of the season but just second in the last 12 games.

The Canucks went up by two late in the period when fourth-line left winger Tom Sestito tipped in a shot from defenseman Jason Garrison, who also assisted on the first goal. Former Carolina center Zac Dalpe posted the second assist on the goal as he started the give-and-go play with Garrison.

NOTES: Carolina has been outscored 20-10 in the first period this season. ... Vancouver has notched a power-play goal in a season-best five straight games. ... Canucks C Zac Dalpe suited up for the first time against his former team after being a healthy scratch for the last seven games. ... Vancouver came into the game 9-4-2 against the Eastern Conference. ... Vancouver captain Henrik Sedin played in his 658th consecutive game. ... RW Jannik Hensen of Vancouver injured his right shoulder halfway through the first period when he got tangled with Carolina D Ryan Murphy and tumbled awkwardly into the boards. RW Alexandre Burrows left the ice bleeding in the second period when he was hit in the head with a clearing pass by D Christopher Tanev with Vancouver on the penalty kill. Both players later returned to the ice. ... Carolina C Eric Staal has points in eight of his last nine games.
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