Carolina at Tampa Bay

Staal ties 'Canes records with four goals, six points in rout of Bolts


TAMPA, Fla. -- Eric Staal had his best offensive game, and helped the Carolina Hurricanes continue their playoff push.

Staal tied franchise records with four goals and six points and the surging Hurricanes hammered the Tampa Bay Lightning 9-3 on Saturday.

"That's one of those games that don't happen very often," Staal said. "It was a good win for our team, which was the bottom line. But it's fun getting points and being on the offensive side of the game. I've been on the other end of it before."

It was the third time -- the first since Ron Francis on Feb. 12, 1984, against Edmonton -- that a Hartford-Carolina player had four goals. Staal's six-point night was the fourth in franchise history. He has 32 goals this season, and has five goals and 12 points during a five-game point streak.

Tuomo Ruutu had two goals and three assists, and Erik Cole added four assists for the Hurricanes, who have won seven of nine. Anton Babchuk, Joe Corvo and Rod Brind'Amour had the other Carolina goals.

The Hurricanes jumped from 10th to seventh in the Eastern Conference with the victory.

"We've been pretty solid," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "Everyone once in a while one of these happens. You don't get too excited. You just hope everybody gets through the game, and nobody gets hurt and you go on the next one."

Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone scored for Tampa Bay. The Lightning have lost 14 of 18.

"A team stinker," Tampa Bay interim coach Rick Tocchet said. "Every single guy contributed."

Tocchet scheduled a postgame off-ice workout, with a second session set for 9 a.m. Sunday.

"You can't get rid of 21 guys in one night," Tocchet said.

Staal scored twice in the first to help Carolina take a 3-1 lead. He had a short-handed goal off a pass from Brind'Amour during a 2-on-none at 7:01 of the first, and then reached the 30-goal plateau for the fourth consecutive season from the slot with 10:20 left in the period.

"That was a great game," Brind'Amour said. "Everything he touched was gold."

Carolina scored six times -- one off the franchise record -- in the second for a 9-1 advantage. Staal had two goals, coming at 12:48 and 16:45.

Brind'Amour stopped a personal 29-game goal-scoring drought -- dating back to Dec. 23 -- with a power-play goal at 3:48 of the second.

The Hurricanes swept the six-game season series with Tampa Bay. It's the first time the franchise has accomplished the feat since the 1996-97 Hartford Whalers won all four meetings against the Lightning.

"They're not having a great year, so those teams you've got to beat because it seems like everybody else is beating them," Brind'Amour said.


  • Francis is the Hurricanes' associate had coach.
  • Tampa Bay GM Brian Lawton has not ruled out the possibility of speeding up the process of working out a potential full-time deal with Tocchet, who replaced the fired Barry Melrose last Nov. 14. "I said I'd go over it at the end of the year. I may accelerate it that, but we haven't got that far," Lawton said.
  • Staal has three hat tricks this season.
  • Carolina G Cam Ward made his 14th consecutive start.
  • Malone (flu) and Tampa Bay C Paul Szczechura (wrist) both returned after sitting out Friday's game with St. Louis.
  • Lightning LW Vinny Prospal picked up his 400th career assist on Malone's goal.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
He doesn't show much emotion, but Eric Staal has the most productive game of his career. (Getty Images)
He doesn't show much emotion, but Eric Staal has the most productive game of his career. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Carolina  (35-27-5) «3609
Tampa Bay (21-32-13)1023
Three Stars
E. Staal

Goals: 4
Assist(s): 2
T. Ruutu

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 3
E. Cole

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 4

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Scoring Summary
07:01Short - Eric Staal (29), Slap Shot. Assist: Brind'Amour
09:40Eric Staal (30), Wrist Shot. Assist: Cole, Ruutu
10:09Anton Babchuk (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Pitkanen
12:43Martin St. Louis (24), Slap Shot. Assist: Stamkos, Szczechura
02:41Joe Corvo (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Cole, Staal
03:48Power Play - Rod Brind'Amour (9), Snap Shot. Assist: Samsonov, Cullen
06:03Power Play - Tuomo Ruutu (18), Backhand Shot. Assist: Samsonov, Corvo
12:48Eric Staal (31), Wrist Shot. Assist: LaRose, Ruutu
16:45Eric Staal (32), Tip-In. Assist: Ruutu, Cole
19:33Tuomo Ruutu (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: Staal, Cole
03:30Vincent Lecavalier (28), Wrist Shot. Assist: Malone, Prospal
09:12Ryan Malone (23), Snap Shot. Assist: Prospal, Lecavalier
Penalty Summary
06:47Whitney, 2 min, Hooking
14:10Staal, 2 min, Cross-Checking
17:53Babchuk, 2 min, Slashing
03:11Artyukhin, 2 min, Holding
05:42Artyukhin, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
05:51Halpern, 2 min, Hooking
11:06Szczechura, 2 min, Hooking
14:34Cullen, 2 min, Hooking
19:51Koci, 2 min, Roughing
19:51Gleason, 2 min, Roughing
19:51Koci, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
Tampa Bay88925
Cam Ward59:57223
Mike McKenna29:58123
Karri Ramo29:47166
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Tampa Bay0-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 15692
Referees - Dan O'Rourke, Tim Peel
Linesmen - Jonny Murray, Brad Lazarowich
Other Games
NJ 3 Final
StL 3 Final
Fla 5
SJ 1 Final
Van 3
Nash 1 Final
Phi 4
Buf 3 Final
Ott 6
Chi 3 Final
Bos 5
Min 3 Final
LA 4
Colu 8 Final
Det 2
Edm 4 Final
Tor 1