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Staal, Hurricanes look for fourth straight win

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.



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