RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Carl Hagelin was benched in his last game. The Anaheim Ducks couldn’t afford to have him off the ice for too long in this one.
Hagelin broke out of a slump with a goal and two assists, and Anaheim beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 on Monday night.
“I wanted to prove myself, that I was a better player than I was last game,” Hagelin said.
Getzlaf also had an assist for offensively challenged Anaheim – which snapped a three-game losing streak, matched a season-high for goals and earned just its second win on the road in eight tries.
“We really could have got a hell of a lot more than we actually did get,” Horcoff said.
Rookie Noah Hanifin scored his first NHL goal for Carolina, which has lost six of seven.
“Sometimes when you struggle to score goals, it seems like you just can’t quite break through,” defenseman John-Michael Liles said. “I think that’s kind of where we’re at right now. If we get one, we’re struggling to get two. If we get two, struggling to get three and put teams away. It’s not a fun feeling.”
Anton Khudobin made 24 saves to beat his former team. He spent the past two years with Carolina before he was traded to the Ducks on the same day the Hurricanes acquired Eddie Lack from Vancouver. Lack stopped 16 shots in his first start since Nov. 6 for Carolina.
Hagelin was acquired on draft day from the New York Rangers, but sat during the third period of his last game, a home loss to the New York Islanders on Friday night.
He had just one goal and one assist all season, but helped set up Anaheim’s first two goals before scoring the dagger with 3:49 left on a wraparound that slipped past Lack.
Hagelin said he spoke to friends and family members, and they all agreed on one thing.
“I just need to be … going after the puck a little more and do my thing, do what I’m good at,” he said. “Use my skating as much as possible, and don’t think too much.”
This was a matchup of two teams with sputtering offenses. The Hurricanes entered 28th in the league with 34 total goals while the Ducks entered with an NHL-worst 28 goals – a lasting remnant of a slump in which they had just six goals in their first eight games.
Horcoff put the Ducks up 1-0 with 8:37 left in the first when he parked in front of the net and Hagelin’s pass clicked off his skate and past Lack, with the call upheld after a brief video review.
Hagelin also the secondary assist on Vatanen’s go-ahead goal, which came late in the second. Vatanen took a cross-ice pass from Getzlaf, made a slick move to elude defenseman Ron Hainsey and snapped the puck past Lack to make it 2-1.
That came after Hanifin, the fifth overall pick in last June’s draft, tied it for the Hurricanes 3:38 into the second when he beat Khudobin with a slap shot from just inside the blue line. At 18 years, 295 days old, Hanifin became the youngest defenseman in club history to score a goal.
“I think it’ll take the weight of the world off his shoulders a little bit,” coach Bill Peters said.
NOTES: Carolina scratched D Ryan Murphy (concussion). … Anaheim LW Nick Ritchie, the 10th overall pick in the 2014 draft, made his NHL debut. … The teams meet again Dec. 11 in Anaheim.