Ducks Fall Short In Carolina, Lose To Hurricanes, 4-2

Eric Staal recorded his 12th career hat trick and the Carolina Hurricanes hung on to defeat the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2, at RBC Center.

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Ducks Lose In Carolina, 4-2, Thanks To Eric Staal Hat Trick

Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Eric Staal recorded his 12th career hat trick and the Carolina Hurricanes hung on to defeat the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2, at RBC Center. Staal scored three consecutive goals during the first 21:41 of play for Carolina, which has won four straight games for the first time this season. Cam Ward was brilliant between the pipes with 43 stops, including a glove save on a Saku Koivu shot that prevented a tie score with less than a minute remaining in the game.

"He's been real solid for us," Staal said of Ward. "When we've needed him to make the saves he has... He's one of the best in the league." Jussi Jokinen notched two assists and Joe Corvo added an empty-netter for the victors. Ryan Getzlaf scored two goals for the Ducks, who have lost two straight. Jonas Hiller surrendered three goals on 31 shots in the loss.

"We had opportounties," Getzlaf said of his team. "We had opportunities to get kills and we had opportounties to score goals. There is a strong responsibility that has to be taken." The Ducks took an early 1-0 lead after Perry sent the puck toward the net and Getzlaf finished the rebound only 2 1/2 minutes into the game.

Five minutes later, the game was tied on a Carolina power-play rush when Jokinen found Staal streaking down the left side. Staal took the pass and wristed a low shot past Hiller. The Carolina captain registered his second power-play goal of the game by jamming in a rebound from the back boards to give the Hurricanes their first lead with 27 seconds left in the first. The hat trick goal came 1:41 into the second period and was set up by a nice centering pass from Jeff Skinner to Erik Cole in the slot. Cole slipped the puck to the right side to Staal, who swept it into the net.

Anaheim made it a one-goal game with on a 5-on-3 power play when Getzlaf ripped a low shot past Ward. The Ducks remained on the two-man advantage for the next 57 seconds because of a Stall cross-checking call and they then pulled Hiller for the sixth attacker. Corvo, however, scored the empty-netter to seal the win for Carolina.

Carolina has won four of the last six meetings between the two teams, dating back to December 2005...The Ducks were 1-for-7 on the power play, while Carolina was an efficient 2-for-3.

For more Ducks news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Anaheim Calling.

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Ducks Vs. Hurricanes: Anaheim Seeks Third Straight Win Over Carolina

(Sports Network) - Consecutive rallies have given the Hurricanes their first three-game winning streak of the season, while the Ducks were unable to dig themselves out of an early hole last time out to extend their string of victories. Anaheim takes aim at a third straight victory over Carolina this evening at RBC Center. The Ducks opened a seven-game road trip with an overtime victory in Washington on Wednesday and figured to have an easier time of things the following night on Long Island. Facing an Islanders team that had lost 20 of its previous 21 games, Anaheim was tagged for three goals in a 99-second span in the first period and never recovered in a 3-2 loss.

Curtis McElhinney stopped nine of the 12 shots he faced in the start before being lifted for Jonas Hiller, who turned aside all 17 shots he faced in the game. Joffrey Lupul and Jason Blake both scored and had an assist in the loss, which snapped a three-game win streak. "The first period was tough," Blake said of New York's scoring burst. "They scored quick goals on us ... I thought we did some great things in the second and third period."

The Ducks, who are one point back of Pacific Division-leading Dallas, played without winger Teemu Selanne for a fourth straight game due to a nagging groin injury. Carolina wrapped a five-game road trip 3-1-1 thanks to a pair of comebacks over Florida and Carolina. The Hurricanes erased a 3-0 deficit to beat the Panthers on Wednesday, then rallied from two goals down to top the Thrashers, 3-2, in a shootout the following night.

Brandon Sutter and Eric Staal scored in the third period and Sergei Samsonov had the winner in the shootout. Cam Ward ended with 45 saves in the victory. "It was a great effort from everyone," said Staal. "Obviously you never want to get behind, especially in this league. Unfortunately we did the last two games. But we found a way to battle back and stay competitive and stay with our game plan and get a win."

Carolina did lose Jiri Tlusty for the next few games due to an upper-body injury and 21-year-old Zach Boychuk is expected to replace him in the lineup. The former 2008 first-round pick has 10 goals and 22 assists in 28 games this year in the American Hockey League. The Ducks earned their sixth victory in their last nine versus the 'Canes with last year's 3-2 home win. Selanne had the game-winning goal and an assist in that one, while Sutter had one of Carolina's goals.

Neither Ward nor Hiller got the start in last year's lone meeting. Anaheim has won three of its last four at Carolina.

For more Ducks news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Anaheim Calling.

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