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game recap

Minus Eric Staal, Hurricanes fall to Blues

Carolina defeated in first game without former captain

by Kurt Dusterberg / Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Kyle Brodziak broke open a tie game with a short-handed goal in the second period, and the St. Louis Blues went on to a 5-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Sunday.

Jake Allen made 32 saves for the Blues (36-20-9), who ended a three-game losing streak. Broziak, Scottie Upshall, Alex Pietrangelo and Robby Fabbri each had two points.

The Hurricanes (28-26-10), who traded their captain Eric Staal to the New York Rangers prior to the game, lost their third straight.

Ty Rattie put St. Louis up early with his fourth goal of the season. Cam Ward kicked out a shot by Upshall, but Rattie gathered the rebound in the slot and hit the top right corner of the net at 2:17 to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.

Video: STL@CAR: Fabbri fakes out Ward, scores insurance goal

Carolina answered with two quick goals. Jeff Skinner's shot from low in the right circle beat Allen between his glove and upper body at 8:01.

Carolina defenseman Ron Hainsey made it 2-1 on a slap shot from inside the blue line, using Brad Malone as a screen in front of the goaltender at 9:25.

The Blues tied the game 20 seconds into the second period. Magnus Paajarvi emerged from a scrum behind the net and curled around the left post to find David Backes in the slot for his 16th goal to make it 2-2.

St. Louis outshot the Hurricanes 20-8 in the second period.

"We got into their defense a little bit and we got a lot of energy," said Blues coach Ken Hitchcock. "We hemmed them in and didn't let them out. That second period was outstanding."

Video: STL@CAR: Brodziak rifles home go-ahead SHG in 2nd

Brodziak scored at 11:10 of the second period to give the Blues a 3-2 lead.

Fabbri made it 4-2 at 6:02 of the third period when he took Pietrangelo's pass through the neutral zone and cut across the slot to beat Ward on a backhand.

Pietrangelo scored 37 seconds later to make it a three-goal lead. The Blues moved the puck quickly around the offensive zone before Pietrangelo scored from the left faceoff circle. With Ward out of position, he took a pass from Patrik Berglund before waiting for a clear look at net and finishing with a wrist shot to make it 5-2.

Video: STL@CAR: Paajarvi feeds Backes, Blues tie game in 2nd

Pietrangelo was activated on Saturday after missing nine games with a right-knee injury.

"He makes a huge difference," Hitchcock said. "What can you say? It just organizes our team better, puts players in better position play-wise and gets us better matchups. He really helps us a lot."

The Hurricanes learned of Staal's trade an hour before the game, which likely played a role their performance.

Video: STL@CAR: Pietrangelo's tally pads lead in 3rd

"That has a factor for sure," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "That's the reality, right? I thought they played well to be honest with you. I thought the guys dug in and did a good job."

Already down one forward without Staal, the Hurricanes lost Kris Versteeg and Riley Nash, leaving Carolina with nine forwards for more than half the game. Each are pending free agents. Peters said some players were "held out" rather than injured.

The Blues outshot the Hurricanes 40-34, with shots from 17 of their 18 skaters. Carolina's Jeff Skinner had eight shots, while teammate Phil Di Giuseppe had seven.

Video: Fabbri, Brodziak lead Blues to win over Hurricanes

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