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Carolina
Hurricanes
36-35-11
Nashville
Predators
38-32-12

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game recap

Skinner's hat trick helps Hurricanes handle Predators

Friday, 12.06.2013 / 1:24 AM

NHL.com Staff

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Skinner's hat trick helps Hurricanes handle Predators
Carolina Hurricanes 5, Nashville Predators 2
Three Stars of the Game
Jeff Skinner
1st
G: 3Shots: 6
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 18:18
Justin Faulk
2nd
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 26:33
Viktor Stalberg
3rd
Viktor Stalberg
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 4
+/-: 0TOI: 12:45

Jeff Skinner scored a hat trick to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday.

Justin Faulk's goal 23 seconds into the game gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead, but it took a second-period rally for Carolina to leave Nashville with a win.

Mike Fisher tied the game when he tipped defenseman Victor Bartley's slap shot past Carolina goalie Justin Peters 50 seconds into the second period, and Viktor Stalberg gave the Predators a short-lived lead 1:51 later when his backhander on a rebound of a Nick Spaling shot snuck past Peters and inside the left goal post.

Carolina responded with four unanswered goals, including two in the second period by Skinner, who sealed the game with an empty-netter with 2:07 left in the third period.

Faulk scored his second of the season on the game's first shot, a wrister from the right wall that beat Nashville goalie Marek Mazanec under his glove. The teams combined for nine first-period shots.

Skinner tied it 2-2 at 6:11 of the second period. The Hurricanes left wing beat Mazanec under his glove with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle for his seventh goal of the season.

Carolina (12-12-5) took the lead when Riley Nash scored on the power play with a wrist shot through Mazanec's five-hole at 11:51. It was Nash's second goal of the season.

The Hurricanes were 1-for-5 on the power play, including an unsuccessful 5-on-3 midway through the third period.

Skinner's slap shot from the right circle with less than 52 seconds left in the second extended Carolina's lead to 4-2.

The empty-net goal gave Skinner his first career hat trick.

"It's nice. I've had a couple two-goal games but I couldn't seem to find the third one," Skinner said.

Skinner has five goals in his past two games -- he scored two in a 4-1 win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller hopes his fourth-year forward has rediscovered the scoring touch he had when he scored 31 goals as a rookie.

"I don't know how many shots he had on net tonight, but he can score when gets those opportunities," Muller said, according to The SportsXchange. "He's working for it."

Skinner impressed the Predators.

"He's a dynamic player," Bartley said, according to The SportsXchange. "He will shoot off the rush and shoot when he's turning. You really have to be on your game to try to block shots against him."

Peters made 20 saves for his third win in his past five starts.

Carolina lost three players to injury Thursday. Defenseman Mike Komisarek left the game in the first period and forward Drayson Bowman early in the third, each with a lower-body injury. Forward Patrick Dwyer took one shift in the third period after taking a high stick to the face from Stalberg late in the second period.

Carter Hutton replaced Mazanec in the Nashville goal to start the third period. Mazanec allowed four goals on 13 shots; Hutton stopped all nine shots he faced.

The Predators were 7-1-0 in eight games at home against Carolina under coach Barry Trotz.

"Their top guys were good tonight, and we didn't have a match for them," Trotz said. "Some of our top guys weren't on today. I think our core wasn't as strong. Every moment counts, and those little moments where we forget a play, or we're not ready to play, cost us. They got four goals in 13 shots. That's not a good night for us."

Nashville (13-13-3) was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

Material from team and national media was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
00:23
CAR
Justin Faulk (2) ASST: NONE
1 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
00:50
NSH
Mike Fisher (7) ASST: Victor Bartley (1), Seth Jones (7)
1 - 1 Tie
02:41
NSH
Viktor Stalberg (3) ASST: Nick Spaling (5)
2 - 1 NSH
06:11
CAR
Jeff Skinner (7) ASST: Ryan Murphy (7), Tuomo Ruutu (3)
2 - 2 Tie
11:51
CAR
Riley Nash (2) ASST: Patrick Dwyer (4), Ron Hainsey (5)
3 - 2 CAR
19:08
CAR
PPG - Jeff Skinner (8) ASST: Eric Staal (16), Justin Faulk (11)
4 - 2 CAR
3rd Period
17:53
CAR
EN - Jeff Skinner (9) ASST: Justin Faulk (12), Andrej Sekera (9)
5 - 2 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
06:41
NSH
Roman Josi  Cross checking against  Patrick Dwyer
08:18
CAR
Nathan Gerbe  Tripping against  Eric Nystrom
13:04
NSH
Viktor Stalberg  Hi-sticking against  Manny Malhotra
16:09
CAR
Justin Peters  Delaying Game-Ill. play goalie
2nd Period
09:44
CAR
Ron Hainsey  Interference against  Paul Gaustad
17:19
NSH
Viktor Stalberg  Hi-sticking against  Patrick Dwyer
3rd Period
09:39
NSH
Gabriel Bourque  Tripping against  Manny Malhotra
10:12
NSH
Mike Fisher  Tripping against  Eric Staal
13:12
CAR
Eric Staal  Roughing against  Patric Hornqvist
13:12
NSH
Patric Hornqvist  Roughing against  Eric Staal
18:50
CAR
Nathan Gerbe  Slashing against  Eric Nystrom
goalie stats
Justin Peters
SA: 22TOI: 60:00
Saves: 20EV: 12 - 14
PIM: 2PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .909SH: 1 - 1
Carter Hutton
Carter Hutton
SA: 9TOI: 18:34
Saves: 9EV: 8 - 8
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0
Marek Mazanec
Marek Mazanec
5-6-1
SA: 13TOI: 40:00
Saves: 9EV: 7 - 10
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .692SH: 1 - 1