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“He’s one of our best players, so it hurts having him out,” Carolina center Riley Nash said. “But guys have to fill (the void).”

Los Angeles had a fruitless 4-on-3 advantage for 1:09 during the first period, but went ahead in the final minute on a sharp-angled shot by Richards, the veteran center whose scoring touch has deserted him this season. The goal was his first in 13 games since Jan. 18 and just his second in 37 games since Nov. 25.

The Hurricanes tied it up just 41 seconds later on a goal by Sekera. The Slovak Olympian’s floating shot banked off Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr and beat Quick with 15 seconds left in the first.

“We played well and didn’t give them a whole lot,” Nash said. “It just seems like we’re finding ways not to win games and not to get points.”

NOTES: Carolina visited Staples Center for the first time since Oct. 21, 2010. … Carolina D Jay Harrison was a healthy scratch. He had played in 13 straight games. … Los Angeles scratched C Jordan Nolan and dressed young F Tanner Pearson for his 10th career NHL game. … Wayne Gretzky watched from a seat on the glass.