Jeff Skinner began 2014 just as he ended 2013, by scoring goals. The Carolina Hurricanes again followed his lead. Skinner’s goal at 1:20 of overtime Thursday gave the Canes a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals and gave the winger his second hat trick of the season. Skinner’s overtime goal came off a three-on-one rush as defenseman Ryan Murphy carried the puck into the offensive zone on the right wing and found Skinner crashing the net against defenseman Mike Green. “He sort of threads it through the guy’s legs and I just sort of had to put my stick there,” said Skinner, who now has 19 goals this season. “It bounced off my stick and went it. It was a heck of a pass and great play by him.” The Hurricanes (16-16-9) were looking to build off a 5-4 comeback victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, when they rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the third and won 5-4 in overtime. They also were looking for a rare three-game sweep of the Caps (20-15-6) this season at the Verizon Center and seeking to climb the standings in the Metropolitan Division. “This tightens things up a little bit,” Canes coach Kirk Muller said. The Canes had a different look. Goalie Anton Khudobin made his first start for Carolina since an ankle injury Oct. 13 and was steady enough with 38 saves. Defenseman John-Michael Liles, obtained in a trade Wednesday with Toronto, was in the lineup. Paired with Murphy, he was used on the power play and penalty kill.
Streaking Skinner notches hat trick as Canes beat Capitals in OT
Raleigh News & Observer | Jan 3