Eric Staal was the Carolina Hurricanes best player last night with his thirteenth career hat trick against the Buffalo Sabres. Staal has been the Hurricanes best skater for many years. He is the only player to have at least 70 points every season since the 2004-2005 lockout. This is an amazing offensive consistency that any team would love to have. The Hurricanes won their first game of the season 6-3 with an offensive explosion lead by their captain. Staal’s hat trick was his first three points of the season.
Staal scored his first goal of the game at the end of the second period. He showed of his stick handling skills putting on the brakes in front of Jhonas Enroth and sliding a backhand between his legs. He scored nine seconds after Jeff Skinner broke the tie with his second of the game. Staal scored again about halfway through the third period keeping the Hurricanes up by two goals. He let go of a quick wrist shot that beat Enroth high, after getting a great pass from defenseman Joni Pitkanen. His final goal was at the end of the game with a wrist shot from about half rink into the empty net.
Along with Jeff Skinner, Staal has had a good start to the season with three goals in three games. His offensive leadership may help the Canes live up to their high expectations and increase their offensive numbers. The Hurricanes play the Sabres again Friday to end the home-and-home series. Staal will be looked at again to have another good game. The Hurricanes need Staal to play big if they want to make the playoffs this year.