NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Carolina
(Tuesday, April 7th)
Final Score: Carolina 9, NY Islanders 0
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Eric Staal set a franchise mark by recording his fourth hat trick of the season in Carolina's historic 9-0 romp over the lowly New York Islanders at RBC Center.
It was Staal's eighth career three-goal game and the feat increased his goal total this season to 39 -- surpassing his total of 38 markers from a season ago with two games to play. Staal also had an assist as the team matched a franchise record and extended another.
It was Carolina's ninth consecutive victory overall, matching a stretch set twice during the 2005-06 season -- the same year the 'Canes won the club's only Stanley Cup championship.
It also extended a franchise-record mark with a 12th straight win on home ice. The Hurricanes last lost at RBC Center back on February 17 in a 5-1 final to Boston.
With 97 points, the Hurricanes have clinched a playoff berth and remain in a virtual tie with Philadelphia for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia got by Florida earlier Tuesday and has three games to play.
Cam Ward made 12 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and 12th in his career. He eclipsed Martin Gerber's franchise mark for wins with his 39th in a career-high 27th consecutive start. Gerber set the team record in Carolina's championship season with 38 victories.
Anton Babchuk and Erik Cole had four assists each, while Tuomo Ruutu scored twice.
"We played well. They've (New York) been fighting as hard as they can for a long time and you can sometimes see that, they just kind of broke tonight," Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice said. "We came out and skated very well, our forwards did exactly what we hoped they would do and they hunted the puck down and we didn't give up. We were very sharp and clearly they weren't great."
The 'Canes will polish off a four-game homestand Thursday against Buffalo before closing out the regular season Saturday in New Jersey.
New York, which is last in the NHL with 61 points, saw Yann Danis give up three goals on 10 shots in the first before Joey MacDonald took over with similar results, surrendering six more goals in a 47-shot barrage.
Carolina's 57 total shots were the most in a game since the franchise relocated from Hartford and the most allowed in Islanders history.
"It's frustrating, you get 11 penalties against you and you are not going to generate too much offense," Islanders head coach Scott Gordon said.
Carolina got tallies in the first from Dennis Seidenberg, Staal and Scott Walker for the early 3-0 advantage.
Staal's second of the game came 5:12 into the middle stanza with a defender draped on his back, switching forehand to backhand at the right side of the net.
Jussi Jokinen set up Rod Brind'Amour in front for a power-play goal at 12:29. Staal then completed his latest trick alone in front after Cole carried down the left side, drew a defender from in front and dished to the low slot for an easy score and 6-0 margin.
The 'Canes got three power-play goals in the third for the 9-0 final. Ruutu's 25th of the season came four minutes in and Frantisek Kaberle got his first of the season at 9:25 before Ruutu lit the lamp a second time.
Babchuk's four assists were a career-high in points for a game...Carolina swept the season series for the first time since 1988-89, 4-0. The Hurricanes have taken eight of the last 10 encounters between the clubs and the Isles have dropped six of eight in Raleigh...Seidenberg ended with a goal and two assists while Jokinen collected two helpers...New York's Richard Park skated in his 600th NHL game.
04/07 23:55:40 ET