Posted in the Nashville Predators dressing room at Bridgestone Arena is the phrase, “Be hard to play against and harder to beat.” The Predators are that, and especially at home, but the Carolina Hurricanes found a way to beat them Thursday. Spurred by forward Jeff Skinner's first career hat trick and a goal and two assists from defenseman Justin Faulk, the Hurricanes won 5-2, picking up only their second victory in Bridgestone Arena. “It’s safe to say we outworked a hard-working team,” Canes coach Kirk Muller said. Following up a 4-1 road victory over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday that came with few blemishes, the Canes (12-12-5) had to grind it out Thursday. Skinner scored twice against the Caps, just missing a hat trick. But his empty netter Thursday provided a career first for the winger, who again played on the top line with Eric Staal and Tuomo Ruutu. “It’s nice to get it,” Skinner said. “The puck was bouncing a lot and it was kind of a weird game. There wasn’t much flow. But everyone chipped in.” For the second straight game, the Canes led 1-0 after the first period and had scored four times after two periods. And for the second straight game, Justin Peters was in net, although not as quite as smooth and sharp as he was in Washington. But the Canes, for the second straight game, knocked the opposing goalie out of the game. Marek Mazanec, the NHL’s rookie of the month in November, was lifted for Carter Hutton after the second period. Defenseman Justin Faulk gave the Canes the lead 23 seconds into the game with a snap-wrister off the right boards.
Skinner's hat trick helps Canes beat Predators, 5-2
Raleigh News & Observer | Dec 6