Raleigh, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Jeff Skinner scored with 3:31 remaining to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators Sunday at PNC Arena.
Skinner left the game in the second period after taking a puck to the face in the neutral zone but came back to start the third and scored his 16th goal in the past 16 games, leading Carolina (18-16-9) to its fourth straight victory.
Goaltender Anton Khudobin stopped 31 shots to raise his record to 5-0-0 and his career mark to 19-5-1 while Alexander Semin scored his sixth goal for the Hurricanes.
Carter Hutton stopped 23 shots while Patric Hornqvist scored a power-play goal for the Predators, who dropped to 18-19-6 after losing their last three games.
The Hurricanes took a 1-0 lead when Semin gathered a loose puck behind the net and flipped it off the back of Hutton and into the net at 4:28 of the first period. Tuomo Ruutu earned an assist as did Skinner, who extended his point streak to five games.
Hornqvist tied the game at 6:46 when he swept the puck into the net after taking a pass from Mike Fisher, who has points in five straight games.
Carolina played without captain Eric Staal, who left the game against the Islanders with a lower-body injury. Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller expects Staal to be out five or six days.
Staal had not missed a game since Feb. 26, 2011, snapping his streak of 191 consecutive games played.