Klinkhammer's two goals keep Coyotes hot

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C -- Rob Klinkhammer made sure the Phoenix Coyotes ended a long road trip with a good feeling.
It was the best outing in Klinkhammer's 44-game NHL career as he scored two goals for the first time as the Coyotes defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 on Sunday afternoon at PNC Arena, winning their third game in a row.
"It's awesome anytime you can put a couple in," Klinkhammer said.
The Coyotes, wrapping up a five-game road trip, also received goals from Mikkel Boedker, Lauri Korpikoski and Shane Doan.
The trip began with two losses before victories at Detroit and Philadelphia.
"Guys want to go home, but you can't let that affect your play," Klinkhammer said. "Three games ago, people were ready to end it. It was a morgue around here. It ended up being a good trip."
Klinkhammer's tiebreaking goal came 22 seconds into the third period, assisted by Zbynek Michalek and goalie Mike Smith.
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said Klinkhammer stays with the puck around the net, allowing him to making things happen. That type of effort was particularly important as the stretch of road games wound down.
"You could tell there was a little fatigue in our group," Tippett said. "It's a long trip. Go on the road for five games, your backs are against the wall."
With 18 minor penalties called in the game, it was a matter of maintaining focus.
"Obviously, we had to find a way to win," Doan said. "We're going to stay in our system and do everything right."
In goal, Smith made 31 saves.
Eric Staal, Riley Nash and Jeff Skinner scored for the Hurricanes, who are 1-1-2 in four home games.
Carolina goalie Cam Ward, used in relief when starter Anton Khudobin suffered an injury, is winless in four outings this season. He gave up three goals on 12 shots.
"We had too many passengers," Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller said. "We had some of our top guys that just didn't bring their 'A' game."
Carolina was foiled on a 5-on-3 power play in the second period. The Hurricanes did not score on any of their 11 third-period shots.
"Every time you get some sort of rhythm, there's a whistle," Skinner said. "It's choppy and there's no flow for them either."
The teams matched goals across two periods.
Korpikoski's goal with 4:02 left in the second period came after the Hurricanes failed to convert on a 5-on-3 power play.
Skinner tied it with 56 seconds left in the period.
Earlier in the period, Nash's goal at 7:11 resulted from a deflection of defenseman Ryan Murphy's slap shot from inside the blueline.
The lead lasted only 41 seconds, with Klinkhammer pounding away at a loose puck in front of the net before finally putting it past Khudobin.
Khudobin exited a couple of minutes later, coming up lame after chasing a puck away from the crease, falling and retreating. He made 18 saves on 20 shots before departing with the score at 2-2.
The Coyotes opened the scoring on the game's first power play, with Boedker knocking in a rebound just 4:59 into the game after Derek Morris' shot hit the post.
The Hurricanes responded on Staal's unassisted goal at 15:07 of the first period.
Phoenix launched the first seven shots of the second period, but the score did not change.
Of the Coyotes' four goal scorers in the game, only Boedker, with one goal, had scored previously this season.
The Coyotes are 4-0 this season when scoring the first goal.
Notes: Tippett coached in his 300th career game with the team, holding a 160-98-42 mark in those games. He is the seventh active coach to have 300 or more games with his current team. ... The Hurricanes activated RW Tuomo Ruutu for his first game of the season after he was out with a lower-body injury. With Ruutu in the lineup, C Elias Lindholm, was scratched for the first time this season. He has an upper-body injury suffered Friday night against Los Angeles. ... Murphy was back in Carolina's lineup after D Mike Komisarek made his Hurricanes debut two nights earlier. Komisarek was scratched again Sunday. ... The Coyotes return home for Tuesday night's game against Ottawa. ... The Hurricanes complete a three-game homestand Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks.

What to Read Next