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Hurricanes top Predators for 4th straight win

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 5, 2014 at 9:56 pm •  Published: January 5, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Coach Kirk Muller and the rest of the Carolina Hurricanes are making the most of a makeshift lineup.

Without No. 1 goalie Cam Ward and captain Eric Staal, the Hurricanes stretched their winning streak to a season-high four games with a 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.

"Momentum is a big thing," Muller said.

Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner both had a goal and an assist, and Anton Khudobin made 31 saves.

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. He has scored six times during the winning streak.

"We're just trying to keep this thing going right now," Skinner said. "We're being consistent in our game and playing solid for all 60 minutes."

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 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.

Nashville coach Barry Trotz wasn't pleased with either goal allowed by Hutton.

"I thought we really held them down to no chances," Trotz said. "We got zero saves. (Skinner's goal) wasn't much of a shot at all."

The Predators will now return to Nashville for a five-game homestand after an 0-3 trip.

"We should have had five or six points out of this trip," Trotz said. "We came away with two, and that's discouraging. We put ourselves in the position to get points, so we just need a save."

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