Published December 18, 2010
RALEIGH, N.C. – Eric Staal scored three goals for the Carolina Hurricanes, who held on to beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Saturday night and extend their season-best winning streak to four.
Staal scored two power-play goals during his natural hat trick — the 12th three-goal game of his career. Jussi Jokinen had two assists, and Joe Corvo scored an empty-netter for Carolina.
Ryan Getzlaf scored his second goal with 1:48 left to make it a one-goal game. Jonas Hiller finished with 28 saves for the Ducks, who lost their second straight.
Cam Ward stopped 43 shots — including 39 in a row — for the Hurricanes, who returned 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 shootout. This time, the Hurricanes were the ones trying to preserve a late lead — and a series of late whistles made things interesting.
Carolina was called for three penalties in a 30-second span of the final 3:01, and the Ducks pulled Hiller for an extra attacker, creating a 6-on-3 skating advantage. Getzlaf got Anaheim to 3-2 when his hard slap shot beat Ward, who stopped the final three shots he faced. Corvo then iced it with 4.7 seconds left.
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 1:41.
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.
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.
Getzlaf gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead about 2½ minutes in when he snapped a rebound past Ward for his 12th goal and fourth in four games, but they wound up enduring a rough first period for the second straight game. Anaheim allowed three first-period goals in a 3-2 loss to the NHL-worst New York Islanders on Thursday.
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.