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Hurricanes top Predators for 4th straight win

  • Associated Press
  • January 5, 2014 - 9:01 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. — Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner both had a goal and an assist, and Anton Khudobin made 31 saves to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to their season-high fourth straight win, 2-1 over the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

Skinner netted the winner with 3:31 left on a shot from the right wing that slipped under goalie Carter Hutton's pads for his team-leading 20th goal.

Patric Hornqvist had tied it for Nashville with a power-play goal at 6:46 of the third period when he tipped in the puck at the right post for his ninth goal. But the Predators, who had earned points in four straight games, dropped their third in a row.

The Hurricanes, who played without injured captain Eric Staal, took a 1-0 lead on Semin's goal 4:28 into the game.

Semin gathered the puck from behind the net and sent a shot in off of Hutton's back.

Staal sat out after he sustained a lower-body injury Saturday night in a win at the New York Islanders.

Nashville, which avoided its first shutout against the Hurricanes, held a 32-25 shots advantage. The Predators went 1 for 2 on the power play and killed Carolina's two man-advantages.

Khudobin, filling in for injured goalie Cam Ward, improved to 5-0 this season and helped the Hurricanes win both ends of a back-to-back set for the first time this season.

The Hurricanes, in their third game in four nights, played well without Staal in the lineup. Staal, who missed his first game since Feb. 26, 2011, had played in 191 consecutive regular-season games — the third longest streak in franchise history. He holds the team record of 349 straight games.

NOTES: Skinner extended his point streak to five games. ... The Hurricanes activated D Jay Harrison from the injured list and placed Ward on it, retroactive to Dec. 31. ... Hornqvist moved into a tie for seventh place on the Predators' career goal list.

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