Hockey

Careless Canucks lose to lowly Hurricanes

A sloppy second period doomed the Vancouver Canucks in Saturday afternoon's 5-3 road loss to the NHL-worst Carolina Hurricanes.

A sloppy second period doomed the Vancouver Canucks in Saturday afternoon's 5-3 road loss to the NHL-worst Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina scored three unanswered goals in the decisive frame, with plenty of help from the Canucks.

After Erik Cole put the Hurricanes up 2-1 early in the second, the Canucks got careless trying break out of their own zone. A pass attempt hit the back of the skate of Vancouver forward Jannik Hansen, Carolina's Sergei Samsonov got hold of the puck and roofed a shot over Andrew Raycroft.

"It could have been four or five [goals] tonight," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said of Cole, who missed 10 October games with a broken leg.

"I think he has been skating much better. When he skates like that he's a handful, and it opens up the ice for everybody."

It got even worse with a minute left in the second and Carolina on the power play. Cole tried to jam one past Raycroft, who seemed to have it covered as the puck disappeared from sight. But, a few beats later, it suddenly leaked into the net behind the goalie to make it 4-1.

"It's tough to understand, especially from our top players, making the type of mistakes that they're making and putting us behind the eight-ball," said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault.

"We didn't deserve to win."

Vancouver did its best to make amends in the third, outshooting the Hurricanes 16-8 and cutting the deficit to one on goals by Steve Bernier and Alex Burrows in the last half of the period.

The Canucks seemed poised to tie it with a power-play in the final two minutes, but Manny Legace and the Hurricanes held the fort and Cole potted an empty netter to complete his hat trick.

Legace stopped 33 shots for Carolina (6-17-5), which snapped a streak of five regulation losses but still has the NHL's worst record by a wide margin.

"It's huge, especially weathering the storm in the third period," Legace said.

"The last couple of games we've kind of shut her down in the third and teams have taken advantage of us."

Raycroft finished with 23 saves in relief of Roberto Luongo, who helped Vancouver (16-13-0) win the first two games on its four-game trip that wraps Tuesday in Nashville.