Nashville (9-9-1) at Carolina (11-7-2), 3:00 pm EST
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) — It only seems fitting Eric
Staal has reasserted himself as the Carolina Hurricanes’ most
prolific scorer during their season-high, three-game win streak.
Staal and the Hurricanes hope to continue their winning ways
when they host the offensively dormant Nashville Predators on
Staal recorded a hat trick in Carolina’s 5-2 victory over the
Phoenix Coyotes on Friday, completing the feat in the final
minute of the second period. The 24-year-old had gone eight
games without a goal – his longest drought since he went nine
without one in the 2006-07 season.
After a 38-goal and 82-point campaign in 2007-08, Staal has just
eight goals and 13 points through 20 games. Last season, it
took him just 11 contests to reach eight tallies.
Prior to the Hurricanes’ five-goal outburst, they had scored two
goals or less in each of their previous seven games. Carolina
defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, in a shootout last Sunday
and edged the Montreal Canadiens, 2-1, two nights later.
Nashville has been hampered by offensive struggles as well,
netting one goal in each of its last two games – a pair of 4-1
losses to the San Jose Sharks and Lightning, respectively, this
The Predators are 3-5-0 in their last eight games, seven of
which have been played on the road.