Staal scores late in OT as Hurricanes beat Predators 3-2
By BOB SUTTON
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Jordan Staal scored his second goal of the game with 34.9 seconds left in overtime to give Carolina a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night and extend the Hurricanes' winning streak to six games.
Staal controlled the puck into the zone and beat Nashville's Pekka Rinne to give the Hurricanes their first six-game streak in 10 years. He didn't pull the trigger on a pass, instead sending the puck into the net.
"I looked over and I didn't see much for a pass," Staal said. "I thought I had a decent angle of getting a good shot."
Sebastian Aho had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Vincent Trocheck finished with two assists.
Staal has 10 goals this season, exceeding last year's 68-game total of eight. It was his second multi-goal game of the season.
"Jordan Staal won us a game, that's almost how I feel," coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "Everybody else was kind of iffy."
Matt Benning and Ryan Johansen scored for Nashville, which built a 2-0 lead in the second period, only to have Carolina tie the score by the end of the period.
Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 21 saves. Rinne was credited with 32 saves as the Predators played the second game of an eight-game trip.
Benning's goal was his first in 25 games with the Predators after arriving as an offseason free-agent acquisition.
Despite the Predators going on two first-period power plays, the Hurricanes held a 15-7 edge in shots through 20 minutes.
The Predators used six rookies. In many ways, it was a makeshift lineup that put together some solid stretches.
"I think it's something that we talked about coming into the season with the shortened season . there's going to be some wear and tear," Nashville coach John Hynes said. "You have to fill in and around the minutes."
Early in overtime, Nashville's Viktor Arvidsson misfired on an open net.
MAKING THEM PAY
The Hurricanes, trailing 2-0, seemed inspired after Nashville's Dante Fabbro drew an elbowing penalty for a brutal hit on Brock McGinn.
"It's a mindset that you have to make them pay," Aho said of the response.
Carolina scored on the ensuing power play.
"I thought it got us some momentum," Staal said.
Both goals in regulation for the Hurricanes came on power plays. They have at least one power-play goal in six straight games.
"The power play came through when it had to," Brind'Amour said.
HEARING THE MUSIC
Aho has 14 career points in 11 games all-time against Nashville. That's the second-most points for any player in franchise history against the Predators.
"I try to score on every team and any goalie," Aho said.
Nine of Aho's points in the series are goals. Ex-Carolina forward Jeff Skinner had eight goals and eight assists versus Nashville.
Predators captain Roman Josi went on injured reserve earlier Tuesday with an upper-body injury. The team said his absence will be week to week.
"Roman is such a valuable guy on the ice and off the ice," Hynes said. "The good thing is he's still with us here (on the trip)."
The injury occurred on a high stick from Dallas' Denis Gurianov in the third period Sunday, even though Josi later notched the winning goal in a 4-3 shootout victory. Josi holds a three-game points streak.
Center Rem Pitlick, right winger Mathieu Olivier and defenseman Jeremy Davies were recalled from the taxi squad and in Tuesday night's lineup for Nashville.
Davies, a defenseman, made his NHL debut, even logging time on power plays.
"I think it was a good first night," Hynes said. "Good to see, he's a guy we think has a bright future with us."
Predators: Nashville stays for a rematch Thursday night as the third game of an eight-game road swing.
Hurricanes: Carolina wraps up a four-game homestand Thursday night against Nashville.
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Updated March 9, 2021