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game recap

Jeff Skinner scores twice in Hurricanes win

Jordan Staal gets goal, assist; Eddie Lack makes 27 saves against Predators

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jeff Skinner scored twice, Eddie Lack made 27 saves and the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Nashville Predators 4-2 at PNC Arena on Saturday.

Jordan Staal and Elias Lindholm also scored for the Hurricanes (30-27-12), who are 4-0-2 in their past six games.

The Hurricanes are seven points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

 

WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Predators highlights

 

"We're playing good hockey," Staal said. "We're playing quick and moving the puck and our legs as well. [Lack] has made some big saves at the right times."

The Predators (35-25-11), tied with the St. Louis Blues for third place in the Central Division, had their three-game winning streak end.

"It wasn't our best," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "They were quicker than us, they worked harder than we did. The got themselves a lead, they made it difficult to generate offense. Their speed was a factor when they play as fast as they did."

Video: NSH@CAR: Skinner roofs rebound for second of game

Filip Forsberg scored off a pass from Calle Jarnkrok at 18:11 of the third period to cut Carolina's lead to 3-2 with the extra attacker, but Lindholm scored into an empty net with 26 seconds remaining.

The Hurricanes scored on their first shot 29 seconds into the game. Staal went to the slot and deflected Jaccob Slavin's shot from the left point between the legs of Juuse Saros (33 saves) for a 1-0 lead.

Carolina extended the lead to 2-0 at 8:59 on Skinner's 24th goal. Lee Stempniak got in on the forecheck and took the puck away from Saros before passing to Skinner for a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle.

Viktor Arvidsson scored from a bad angle to make it 2-1 at 5:38 of the second period. He shot a rolling puck along goal line in the right corner that deflected off Lack and into the net. Ryan Ellis and Kevin Fiala had the assists.

Skinner made it 3-1 at 14:35.

"I thought we were dangerous," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "I think we could have had more than three and the empty-netter. We had really good looks."

 

Goal of the game

From the top of the crease, Skinner picked up the rebound of Slavin's shot and lifted a backhand past Saros.

Video: NSH@CAR: Skinner beats Saros with smooth wrister

 

Save of the game

Predators forward Colin Wilson controlled the rebound of a Mattias Ekholm shot near the left post but Lack got a pad on Wilson's shot at 10:09 of the third period.

Video: NSH@CAR: Lack denies Ekholm, robs Wilson's rebound

 

Highlight of the game

Forsberg's one-timer with 1:49 remaining in the game came on a nice diagonal pass from Jarnkrok.

Video: NSH@CAR: Forsberg strikes with one-timer from circle

 

Unsung performance of the game

Peters said defenseman Justin Faulk might have played his best game in three seasons. Faulk played a team-high 24:25 with five hits, two shots and three blocked shots.

 

They said it

"We let two points out the door tonight so we shouldn't just dust it off like it's nothing. We've got to be better than what we played tonight. I don't think it was good." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette

 

"He's an exceptional skater. He's very strong on his skates, which probably surprises people. On his second goal tonight he was able to out-battle a guy in front, stay on his feet and get the backhand up over the pad. I think it's just instincts though. He's one of the best skaters in terms of edges and balance in the League. His skating allows him to hold onto pucks, get extra opportunities and to move into better areas for scoring." -- Hurricanes forward Lee Stempniak on Jeff Skinner

 

"When I don't play as much I tend to think a little more out there compared to when I play a lot. That's the benefit I'm reaping right now. I feel like I'm in a rhythm. I kept going to the next shot and the next shot." -- Hurricanes goaltender Eddie Lack

 

Need to know

Lack has allowed six goals over his past four starts (3-1-0). … Skinner passed Sami Kapanen for seventh place on Carolina's all-time points list with 315. Skinner also tied Erik Cole for fourth in goals with 168. ... The Hurricanes will play their next four on the road while the Predators have a three-game homestand.

 

What's next

Predators: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-CR, CSN-PH, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Skinner's two goals lead 'Canes past Predators, 4-2

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