Raleigh, NC, United States (4E Sports) – Nathan Gerbe, Jeff Skinner and Alexander Semin scored while Anton Khudobin recorded 27 saves as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the St. Louis Blues, 3-1, Friday at PNC Arena.
Jordan Staal, Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk tallied an assist each for the Hurricanes (25-20-9), who grabbed third place in the Metropolitan Division with 59 points.
David Backes scored while Jaroslav Halak had 28saves as the Blues (36-12-5) saw an end to their three-game winning streak.
The teams traded power-play goals in the first period. With St. Louis forward Brenden Morrow in the box for high sticking, Sekera made a perfect cross-ice pass to Gerbe, who one-timed a shot for his 12th goal of the season at 3:46.
St. Louis answered 12 seconds into its first opportunity with the man-advantage. Backes took a pass from Derek Roy in the slot and beat Khudobin to the stick side at 9:23. for his 18th goal of the season. T.J Oshie won the puck along the boards to earn the second assist.
Skinner gave the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead at 1:51 of the second period. Staal won a faceoff back to Skinner, who quickly moved between the circles and shot low to the far post for his 23rd of the season.
Each team had a prime scoring chance during a shift early in the second. The sequence started when Blues forward Alexander Steen pushed a redirect wide in front of an open net.
Moments later, Khudobin came across the crease to stop Chris Stewart’s one timer, before Jaroslav Halak returned the favor on Carolina’s Patrick Dwyer in the slot.
The Hurricanes killed back-to-back penalties beginning late in the second period to preserve the lead against the NHL’s second-ranked power play, which finished 1-for-4.
St. Louis’ Jay Bouwmeester and Jaden Schwartz each hit a post in the final two minutes before Semin scored into an empty net with 1:04 remaining for the final count.