Staal nets hat trick in ‘Canes win

Three goals came quickly for Eric Staal. Three penalties came

even quicker down the stretch for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina was seriously outnumbered for a while, but goalie Cam

Ward was sharp enough to keep the Hurricanes’ winning streak


Staal had the 12th hat trick of his career for the Hurricanes,

who held on to beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Saturday night for

their season-best fourth straight victory.

Staal scored two power-play goals during his natural hat trick.

Jussi Jokinen had two assists, and Ward stopped 43 shots, including

39 in a row.

”When we have needed (Ward) to make the saves, he has,” Staal

said. ”He’s one of the best in the league, and we expect that

every night, and take it for granted some nights. But he was big

for us, especially at the end.”

Ryan Getzlaf scored his second goal with 1:48 left to pull the

Ducks to 3-2 before Joe Corvo scored an empty-netter in the final


The Hurricanes were back at home after winning the final three

games of a five-game trip. Carolina rallied from multigoal deficits

in its previous two games, trailing Florida by three before winning

4-3 and then erasing a two-goal hole to beat Atlanta 3-2 in a


This time, the Hurricanes were the ones trying to preserve a

late lead – and a series of whistles made things interesting.

The Hurricanes were called for three penalties in a 30-second

span of the final 3:01. The Ducks pulled Jonas Hiller for an extra

attacker, creating a 6-on-3 skating advantage.

”I was trying to kind of sit back and just focus on the shot,

because 6-on-3, there’s a lot of seam passes from post to post, and

you don’t want to be caught too far out in front of your own net,”

Ward said.

Getzlaf made it a one-goal game when his hard slap shot beat

Ward, who stopped the final three shots he faced. Corvo then scored

with 4.7 seconds left to send the Ducks to their second straight


”The opportunities were definitely there, and Cam played the

way he can,” Getzlaf said.

The second period wasn’t two minutes old before Staal finished

his second hat trick of the season. With Carolina applying

relentless pressure, the captain took a short pass from Erik Cole

and slid the puck past Hiller for his 16th goal to make it 3-1 at


Staal put Carolina up 2-1 with 26.9 seconds left in the first

with his second power-play goal of the period. Jamie McBain

uncorked a blast that ricocheted hard off the back boards, and

Staal – who was parked near the right post – tapped it in to give

the Hurricanes their first lead. That came after he tied it at 1

with 12:33 remaining.

”Staal has the ability to take the game over,” Ward said. ”He

really picked up his play when we were down one goal and put the

team on his shoulders. There’s a reason why he’s one of the more

dominant players in the league, and you got to see it.”

The Hurricanes entered with one power-play goal in 26 chances

before Staal scored on Carolina’s first two opportunities. By the

end of the first period, the Ducks had allowed nine power-play

goals in 33 short-handed situations.

Hiller finished with 28 saves for the Ducks, and Getzlaf gave

them a 1-0 lead about 2 1/2 minutes in when he snapped a rebound

past Ward for his 12th goal and fourth in four games. It was the

second straight rough first period for the Ducks. Anaheim allowed

three first-period goals in a 3-2 loss to the NHL-worst New York

Islanders on Thursday.

”We have to play that strong forecheck game, and we had it

after we got motivated,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. ”But we

were down two goals, and then we got one back, and we had numerous

chances, but just didn’t get it across the line.”

NOTES: Carolina is 6-0 when scoring at least two power-play

goals. … The Hurricanes are 8-4-2 against the Western Conference,

the best record among Southeast Division teams. … RW Teemu

Selanne was back in the lineup for Anaheim after missing four games

and nine of 13 with a strained groin. … The Ducks sent RW Dan

Sexton to Syracuse of the AHL.