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NHL Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina Hurricanes Get Rare Scoring From Kevin Westgarth

Carolina Hurricanes Kevin Westgarth

John E. Sokolowski – USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes‘ disappointing 2013 season came to an end on Saturday night, with the team falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins by an 8-3 score. One of the few positives for the Hurricanes on the evening was a two-goal effort from Kevin Westgarth, as he waited until the final game to score his first, and second, goals of the season.

Westgarth came to the Hurricanes from the Los Angeles Kings in an early-season trade for forward Anthony Stewart, and has been a valuable addition in Carolina. While the Hurricanes have no shortage of talented forwards, it had been some time since they had a solid physical presence in the lineup to discourage opposing teams from roughing up their star players. Westgarth finished the season with seven fighting majors, and doubled his points total with the two goals against the Penguins.

The Hurricanes ended the season by losing five of their last seven games, and managing only three wins in the entire month of April. They battled injuries all season, but that’s just a small part of where their problems began. As they look to a future that will see most of their young scoring talent return, they should also consider keeping Westgarth around. He may not see much ice time per game, but made his presence known in just 30 games with the Hurricanes this season and is actively involved in players’ union matters. There haven’t been many positives for the Hurricanes as the season wound down, and while an 8-3 loss will leave a bad taste in their mouth for an entire offseason, at least one Hurricanes player got to finish the season on a high note.

Jonathan Katje is an NHL senior writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or add him to your circles on Google Plus.