Eric Staal scores twice, Hurricanes storm Predators 4-2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Eric Staal scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 Thursday night in a pre-season game.

Brandon Sutter and Ryan Bayda also scored for Carolina. Joel Ward and Vernon Fiddler had the Predators’ goals. Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period, scoring twice in less than a minute against Dan Ellis.

Sutter scored first with a shot from the right point that went through traffic to beat Ellis at 2:05. Just 54 seconds later, Bayda skated through the left circle and fired a one-timed from close range that went between Ellis’ legs for a short-handed goal.

Carolina extended its lead to 3-0 in the second period. Anton Babchuk bounced the puck off of the back wall, and Stall, stationed near the right post, shot the puck behind Ellis for the power-play goal at 1:11.

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The Predators got on the board at 7:19 of the second. Shea Weber passed the puck to Ward, who skated alone through the slot and beat Cam Ward on a breakaway with a one-timer that between the goalie’s leg pads.

Michael Leighton replaced Ward at 8:21 of the second period.

Vernon Fiddler beat Leighton high to his glove side to make it 3-2 at 1:59 of the third period, but Staal closed the scoring with an empty-net goal at 19:19.

Notes: Jason Arnott and Ville Koistinen played for the first time in the preseason for the Predators. … Anton Babchuk had two assists for Carolina.